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A Pakistani Court Sentenced A Hindu Rights Activist To Life Imprisonment On A False Murder Charge

Published on 3 April, 2017 at 10:22 pm By

A well-known human rights activist and advocate has been sentenced to life in prison in a murder case by a district court in Tharparkar, Pakistan.

 

File photo of Veerji Kohli. ExpressTribune


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Veerji Kohli, who was a bonded labor as a child, rose from his pathetic world to that of the chairman of the Berano union council of the district. He is a member of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

But his status and deeds, which you will read later in this article, could not save him from being implicated in a false case and getting sentenced for the same.

In 2011, Kohli was accused of killing Mohammed Sualeh Shoro in Bhansar village. An FIR named him and 12 others for allegedly killing Shoro over a land dispute. While the others have been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, it is Kohli who has been sentenced for life.

 

Veeji has been at the forefront of change in the community including helping women farm equipment. Facebook/Veerji

And this is what has riled activists and advocates in Pakistan.

They are standing behind Kohli and claim that he is being framed for what he has done for the welfare of the district directly going against the oppressive feudal lords of the region.


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Chronicling Kohli’s life, Mehar Khursheed writes how he transformed the backward region into a “shining example of renewable energy” with the assistance of Pashtun environmental and human rights activist Meena Gabeena.

Gabeena is herself calling for help to free Kohli of the charge.


As a government official, Kohli constructed five schools and four medical facilities for the people of the district.

He maintains that his work and activism earned him the ire of a section of the feudal tribes, who then framed him in the killing of Shoro.

According to a report, Kohli helped secure the release of bonded laborers from the clutches of feudal lords. When a Hindu girl Kastoori Kohli, of the Kohli community, was raped by local feudal lords, he opposed the biased attitude of the police which led to the termination of some officers.

This made him the target of the police as well as the feudal lords. He survived an assassination attempt before getting framed in a case. The police in Pakistan acted in collusion with the feudal lords to register a murder case against him.

 


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Yet in the increasingly becoming hopeless land of Pakistan, Kohli has a sliver of hope. He will be challenging the verdict in the high court.

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