FOR some time now, the pluralistic Sufi ethos of Sindh has been under threat from the forces of bigotry. The recent disturbances in the district of Ghotki appear to be part of this ugly trend. On Wednesday, two teenagers belonging to the Hindu community were shot while at a tea shop in the district; one of the victims, Sheetan Kumar, died on the spot. Tensions in the area had been high as earlier reports had emerged about the alleged desecration of the Quran. Local police officials say the suspect involved in the alleged desecration, and who had apparently embraced Islam, was mentally unstable. As is the case whenever matters of such a sensitive nature occur, the reported desecration and the murder sparked communal tension in Ghotki, with protest demonstrations and closures of markets.
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