Tears were streaming down Mukesh Kumar Ahuja’s face as he stepped off the Samjhauta Express here on Monday with his wife and four children. Whether they were tears of relief on feeling safe on Indian soil or pain on being compelled to leave what was once his homeland, one couldn’t tell.
Ahuja, 50, who had a grocery shop in Balochistan, said he and his family had decided to spend the rest of their lives in India.
“Hindus are in real trouble in Pakistan, especially in upper Sindh and Balochistan. I had a shop there but closed it about a year ago after unknown people came and looted money from me,” he said. “I was always afraid because our lives were in danger there. It was suffocating, so we decided to leave Pakistan forever and move to India after selling our house.”
Enumerating the reasons why many Hindus feel unsafe in Pakistan, Ahuja said, “Forcible conversions, atrocities, kidnappings, extortions -- it is all happening and that is why Hindus their want to migrate.”
Ahuja also narrated how his relative Ravi Ahuja was abducted some time ago for ransom and later found dead.
“There are many who want to come to India and I want this country to give them visas and nationality,” he said.
His wife, Suman Devi, 47, said, “Children are beaten in schools and we were always worried about them. Our business was closed and it was just about reaching India for safety that mattered.”
The Ahujas were one of five Hindu families to alight from the Samjhauta Express that plies between Delhi and Lahore twice a week. Many of them hinted at their decision not to return to Pakistan.
Pawan Kumar, 28, a grocer from Sindh, said, “I have come here with a friend. Certainly, things are not good for minorities in Pakistan. Forcible conversions and abductions are major issues and there are many who want to migrate to India.”