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Sindh Human Rights Commission recommends action against police officer for curbing religious freedom

Islamabad: The Sindh Human Rights Commission took notice of the police officer's wrongful actions against religious freedom and recommended action against him to serve justice in the matter, Dawn reported.
According to the videos circulating on social media platforms, the policeman was seen preventing a shopkeeper from demonstrating his community's religious sentiments. "The act goes against Article 20 of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom to profess and manage religious institutions. It also runs counter to a landmark judgement by the former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani on minority rights issued on June 19, 2014," she said.
Referring to the video, the SHRC chairperson called for holding the responsible police officer accountable for his actions, according to Dawn.
After the SHRC intervened in the matter, the police officer was suspended as per the disciplinary action.
The SHRC strongly condemned the police officer's action and asked the Sukkur DIG and Ghotki SSP to review the case and take necessary disciplinary action against the perpetrator.
"Furthermore, the Sindh government must conduct an inquiry into the matter and ensure that justice is served," it said.
"The SHRC reaffirms its commitment to protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens, regardless of their religion or beliefs," it added.
The religious minorities in Pakistan live in fear as the cases against them are on the rise.
Recently, Hindu students celebrating Holi at Punjab University's new campus were attacked by activists of Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT), Dawn reported, adding that the incident left 15 students injured.
A number of videos surfaced on a social networking platform showing Hindu students being attacked by the IJT even after they got permission from the administration to celebrate Holi.
An application had been filed with the police for the registration of a case against the attacker.
Some other videos also showed that the security guards were carrying batons and beating the students and they were running from the scene, reported Dawn.
Talking about the incident, Sindh Council general secretary Kashif Brohi said members of the Hindu community and the council had organised a Holi celebration after getting permission from the university administration.
Hindus and Christians continue to live in fear as incidents of forced conversions of girls are on the rise in Pakistan, especially in Sindh, The Friday Times reported.
In March 2022, an 18-year-old Hindu girl was killed for resisting abduction, forced marriage and conversion of religion in Sindh's Sukkur district. Six months later, a 14-year-old girl was abducted, raped and converted to Islam, as per the news report.
An FIR was filed after the court intervened. Later, the police recovered her and performed a medical test to determine her age. She was found to be minor and was sent to Dar-ul-Aman, The Friday Times reported.
A recent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report, titled 'A Breach of Faith: Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2021-22, states that around 60 cases of forced conversion were reported in the local media, of which 70 per cent were girls below the age of 18, The Friday Times reported.
The HRCP reported 21 cases of alleged forced conversion from Sindh in 2022, as per the news report. (ANI)

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