JAIPUR: The death of 11 members of a family of Pakistani Hindu migrants in Jodhpur’s Dechu village on August 9 has sparked a controversy.
Two days after a statement of the Pakistan Foreign Office mentioned a RAW hand behind the "mysterious" deaths, Police authorities and social activists in Jodhpur have hit back strongly at the baseless charges being made from across the border.
In Pakistan, the Indian envoy was reportedly summoned on Monday to convey the serious concern of the government over the deaths. The Indian envoy was told that "despite repeated requests by the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi for details regarding the tragic incident, the Indian government failed to share any substantive details regarding the cause and circumstances of the deaths", said a press release by the Pakistan Foreign Office.
The press release also claimed that Shrimati Mukhi, daughter of the deceased head of the family who resides in Pakistan, had made statements implicating the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the murder of her parents and other family members, allegedly after RAW failed to convince them to spy on Pakistan and issue anti-Pakistan statements".
The statement by the Pakistani side has provoked sharp reactions in Jodhpur. The head of the Jodhpur Police, which is probing this case, has said the charges are baseless. According to Jodhpur SP Rahul Bareth, “There is no scope of any outside person or agency having a role in the death of these 11 people. The core issue of dispute within the family was over the custody of children.”
The FIR in the case was lodged by a relative of the deceased Kewal Ram. “Neither in the written documents nor in a long video that was recovered is there any mention of any pressure on the family from any quarters. All that we can find out is that there was a family dispute over the custody of Kewal Ram’s children. Whatever tragedy happened was due to their internal family clash and there was nobody from outside involved.” The SP said.
Bareth further said that call details of the entire family are being probed and psychologists are analysing the mental conditions that prevailed in the family.
The Pakistani allegations have also angered activists of the Seemant Lok Sangathan, a Jodhpur-based NGO fighting for the rights of Pakistani Hindu migrants. The chief of the NGO Hindu Singh Soda says, “Pakistan is unnecessarily blaming India. If they are so concerned about the Hindu minorities, why don’t they provide them adequate security? In my work with Hindu migrants for over three decades, I have found that they all seek refuge in India simply because of the persecution in Pakistan.”
According to Soda, the charges by the daughter of one of the deceased is being forced by the Pakistani government to malign India. If the family had been happy in Pakistan, why would they have been so keen to migrate to India?”