Ten days ago another young man, a 25-year-old Hindu, was brutally beaten to death by co-workers at a leather factory in Korangi Industrial Area. Jagdesh Kumar worked in a factory along with 7000 other workers; however, the factory records only list 350 workers. Most of the unregistered workers are illegal migrants from Bangladesh who are exploited and made to work in the most terrible conditions. According to witnesses, Jagdesh Kumar and a Bengali worker had a fight and were separated by one of the factory guards. Jagdesh was kept in the security guards room but a mob gathered outside the room, broke the door down and dragged Jagdesh Kumar out and proceeded to beat him. They kicked him with their boots, beat him with bars, chopped of his fingers, stabbed him with screwdrivers and stopped only when one of them pointed out that he was dead. The entire time the police and security guards stood by, watched and did nothing. They only intervened to prevent the mob from burning his body.
Reports suggest that some 1500 people were involved in this brutal murder. A huge number, it is almost impossible to believe that 1500 people were involved in beating one man to death, but even if they stood by and watched and did nothing they are complicit. Those involved claim that Jagdesh Kumar was lynched by a mob enraged because he had allegedly insulted the Holy Prophet. It is hard to believe that any one would be foolish enough to invite the potential wrath of 7000 people. What justice can Jagdesh Kumar’s family expect? Terrified of reprisals they have left Karachi and gone back to their village in the interior of Sindh. The police and the Sindh government have not considered this a priority and have done nothing so far. Is it the numbers that scare them? What will they do with 1500 illegal migrant workers? The jails are already over crowded and the courts don’t work. And what about justice, compensation, security or just compassion?
None seem likely in the near future. The Sindh government is trying to forge new alliances with old acquaintances and is at the same time send serious warnings to their political opponents. This leaves them with no time to do anything about this horrific murder. But something needs to be done, people need to know that you cannot get away with actions like this?