Abducted Hindu spiritual leader released in Pak

Last Updated: Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 00:38

Islamabad: An octogenarian Hindu
spiritual leader, who was kidnapped three months ago, was on Friday freed in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan,
police said.

Maharaja Luckmi Chand Garji, 82, was kidnapped with
four companions on December 21 in Kalat district. The
kidnappers later released three of Garji`s companions.
Garji was freed in an area between Sorab and Khuzdar
in Balochistan, police said.

"The kidnappers have released Garji and he has reached
his house," a police official was quoted as saying by
state-run APP news agency.

There was no confirmation of whether Garji was
released after the payment of ransom or through the efforts of
tribal elders of the area.

Relatives of the religious leader too confirmed his
release but did not give details.

The fate of the man who was in captivity with Garji
could not immediately be ascertained.

Garji is a leading spiritual leader of the minority
Hindu community in Balochistan.

His abduction sparked protests in several parts of the
province.

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had directed
authorities to ensure the safe recovery of the spiritual
leader.

Dozens of Hindus have been kidnapped for ransom in
Balochistan over the past few months.

Reports from provincial capital Quetta said that over
20 Hindu families from Balochistan had sent applications to
the Indian High Commission seeking asylum in India.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 00:38

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