Landlord, police avenge freedom for bonded families
A protest rally was organized against the excesses of a local landlord and police highhandedness in the Pakistan town of Hyderabad in southeastern Sindh province.
Acitivists of local non-profits walked on the street s chanting slogans against landlord Choudhry Nazir Thakur and corrupt officers of Sanghar police.
Sanghar police raided homes of journalist Abdul Rehman Rind and social activists Wajid Laghari, Zahida Detho, Kanji Rano Advocate and Amarchand Advocate following a supreme court order to Thakur to release 78 bonded families from a private jail of Thakur.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan there are some 1.7 million landless agricultural workers (haris) and sharecroppers in five districts of Sindh Province (Thatta, Dadu, Badin, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot). The report notes that most of these people are in debt bondage. Poverty and starvation have forced these communities to accept the landlords' cash advances, and to be available for work from dawn to dusk. Bonded labourers may be detained or guarded to stop them escaping.
Thakur and police were taking revenge against these activists as their protests had led to the freedom of 78 families held in bondage.
But a few weeks later, Thakur got fake cases against civil society workers, including journalist Rind, with Sanghar police. The coordinator of a non-profit named Mehergarh, Veerji Kolhi demanded an investigation into the false cases by a honest police officer and serious action Thakur and police officers in Sanghar and Mirpurkhas who were abetting him.
The local community in Sanghar is mostly secular. Prominent activists, both Hindus and Muslims , who participated in Thursday's protest rally were Jairam Kohli, Zahid Messo, Ramzan Memon of Bhandhar Hari Sangat, Shahena Ramzan, Punhal Saryo, Harji Lal.