Pakistani MP Rejects Claim a Hindu Woman in Viral Video Was Targeted Because of Her Religion
11:20 GMT 22.12.2021 (Updated: 18:02 GMT 08.12.2022)
Since its independence, Pakistan has been grappling with the problem of persecution of its religious minorities, including Hindus and Sikhs by Islamists. While Hindus made up more than 23 percent of Pakistan's population in 1947, they now comprise only 2 percent of the population.
Federal Pakistani MP Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has rejected claims that a Hindu woman, who was dragged by her hair by a group of men in Sindh Province this week, was targeted due to her religion.
A video purportedly depicting the incident has triggered widespread outrage in neighbouring India and stoked concerns about the safety of the Hindu and Sikh minorities
"There is no Hindu-Muslim angle to that incident. It is not a communal incident as [it] is being played out to be. The matter was a domestic dispute and the woman was involved in divorce proceedings with her husband, who was also a Hindu" Vankwani told Sputnik on Wednesday.
Vankwani is a member of Pakistan's governing Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) as well as the leader of the Pakistan Hindu Council, an organisation working with Pakistan's Hindu community.
Vankwani also claimed that all of the men seen dragging the woman in the video have been arrested.
He stated that the incident took place at a court in Umerkot, which is the only Hindu majority district in otherwise predominantly Muslim Pakistan.
The Pakistani English daily Dawn has identified the woman in the video as 40-year-old Tejhan Bheel, who filed for divorce because she was an alleged victim of "domestic violence".
The publication further claimed that the men, eight in total, were unsuccessful in abducting the woman as law enforcement rescued the woman at the last moment.
Meanwhile, a politician from India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, said that he was "stunned to silence" on seeing how a "Hindu woman" had been abducted in broad daylight in Pakistan.
Several other social media users alleged that the woman in the video was targeted "just because she is Hindu".