About 40 Hindu employees of a factory here, one of whose same faith colleagues was killed for allegedly passing blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammed, have been barred from entering their place of work after some members of the community tried to register a case regarding the murder.
The workers are all residents of Marwari Mohalla and neighbours of 22-year-old Jagdish Kumar, who was killed on April 8 by his other colleagues in factory. They have been restricted from entering Nova Industries in the Korangi industrial area here by the factory's management.
The move came after some members of the Hindu community tried to register a case regarding Jagdish's death with police, Lyari town Minority Councillor Ratan Kumar said.
"Since Jagdish's murder on April 8, the factory van has not come to pick the workers from this vicinity and the workers fear they have lost their jobs. They have been receiving reports from their Muslim co-workers that the management of the factory has fired them all in reaction to Jagdish's alleged blasphemous remarks," Ratan Kumar told The News daily.
Heightening apprehensions in this regard is the fact that that no member of the factory's management came to Jagdish's house to condole his death, his family said. The Hindu workers from Marwai Mohalla also did not go to the factory last week to get their weekly wages.
Hindus in the Marwari Mohalla, home to about 2,000 registered voters, fear for their lives after the murder of Jagdish.
Ratan Kumar said most young men are now staying indoors as they fear "negative repercussions" after Jagdish's death.
The neighbours of Jagdish and his brother-in-law Om Prakash, who returned from the victim's hometown of Mirpurkhas on Saturday after his cremation, blamed the factory's management and police officials for his death.
Prakash said they did not intervene at the right time. Jagdish, he said, was a dedicated and responsible employee at the factory and the management had assigned him to head a team of workers that included Muslims.
"He often shared with me how some of his Muslim colleagues never approved of the idea of a Hindu heading their team and frequently discriminated against him, which used to upset him but he refrained from fighting back," said Prakash.
"I am sure they took some personal revenge. I simply cannot believe my bother-in-law could utter anything against the Holy Prophet whom we all respect."
Jagdish's father Prabhu Ji said he did not understand what his son "did to deserve such a brutal death". More than Jagdish's death, his family is shocked by the brutality of his murder.
"He was stabbed in the left eye with a screwdriver and his back was stabbed with scissors. They also beat his head with some hard object till he died," Prakash said.
A medico-legal report from the hospital to which Jagdish's body was taken said his death occurred due to "acute head injury resulting from hard and blunt objects".
He was the youngest of eight siblings and had moved to Karachi three years ago in search of a better career. "In Mirpurkhas, he was earning only Rs 50 per day so they sent him to Karachi to live with me," said Prakash. Jagdish was earning about Rs 200 a day in Karachi.