The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan on Thursday, police said, as they investigated her suspected killing in the latest suspected attack on minorities in the Muslim-majority country.
The woman’s son, Somar Chand, said he found her disfigured body after searching for his missing mother with some relatives, according to a police report seen by CNN. He alleged that his skin had been peeled off, his chest cut and his head split open with a sharp object.
Daya Bheel, 40, had gone missing on Wednesday, according to Surender Valasai, assistant to Pakistan’s chief human rights minister. Her son told police in Sindh province that his mother had gone to collect grass but did not return home, according to the police report.
Sindh Police said they have made an unspecified number of arrests in connection with the case and have set up a special team to investigate. They have not been able to determine a motive for the alleged murder and have not shared further details.
The Pakistan Women’s Democratic Front said it was “extremely disturbed, saddened and shocked” to hear about the case.
“Our sister was mercilessly murdered, her body was found tortured and mutilated, a few days ago, but there is a deafening silence in the corridors of power and the media,” the group said. “Women’s Democratic Front calls on all women in the country, all our sisters to join hands to end this reign of violence and oppression.”
Nearly 97 percent of Pakistan’s 270 million people are Muslim, according to the country’s statistics office, and minority groups often face discrimination and persecution.
According to the US government’s 2021 report on international religious freedoms, mobs attacked and killed Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi Muslims and Shia Muslims in attacks believed to be motivated by religion or accusations of blasphemy . Members of the Sunni Muslim majority had also faced similar attacks in Shia-majority areas, the report added.
Last December, a Sri Lankan national working in Pakistan’s Punjab province was killed and then burned by a mob after being accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.