Hindus flee Balochistan

via http://www.hindustantimes.com/Hindus-flee-Balochistan/Article1-646092.aspx published on January 5, 2011

The Hindu community in Balochistan has started to migrate out of the province with some even considering applying for asylum in India.  Frightened by the rise in kidnappings, many want to leave at the earliest. 33-year-old Hindu chemist Vijay Kumar claimed that more than 100 families are making efforts to migrate to India.

These Hindus are ethnic Baloch and they have been unaffected by the insurgency that is raging in the province. However, with the deteriorating law and order situation, kidnappers are now targeting them.

According to the home department, 291 people were abducted while 8 were kidnapped for seeking ransom throughout Balochistan in 2010. Of this, a large number were Hindus.

It is a common belief that most of the victims were released after paying huge sums of money as ransom to the kidnappers. Relatives are reluctant to disclose how much money was paid to the kidnappers, fearing that they will be targeted again.

The recent incident of abducting a leading spiritual leader, Luckmi Chand Garji, has shaken the community.

Chand, along with five others was abducted on his way from Kalat to Khuzdar a week ago.

The captors released three of them and kept the spiritual leader and Vinod Kumar, the son of a well-known trader.

Director of Ministry for Human Rights, Saeed Ahmed Khan said that migration of Hindu community started in 2005 and still continues to date.  “I have personally observed that many Hindu businessmen families had shifted from Quetta even during the past five years,” he said.

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