Funeral pyre to be set up in Lahore
By Anjum Gill
LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday has approved a plan to set up a ‘Shamshan Ghat’ for performing last rituals of corpses of Hindus near Saggian Bridge, sources said.
Sources said 10 kanals and 15 marlas of land had been allocated for the purpose near Saggian Bridge. The city district government would carry out the project and bear the cost.
The government had also allocated funds to renovate the Krishna Mandir of the Balmik Hindu Community in the city on Ravi Road.
Hindus burn their dead and throw the ashes preferably in River Ganges. There were about dozen Shamshan Ghats in the city before partition and the ashes were thrown in River Ravi. After Partition, most of the Hindu community moved to India and the number of Ghats diminished.
The Hindu community in Lahore had been demanding land for a pyre in Lahore from the past many years and the government had selected suitable land to help out the ‘Hindu brethren’, sources said. Munawar Chand, Pakistan Balmik Sabha’s general secretary, told Daily Times that the Balmik Hindus had been burning their dead on the banks of River Ravi after partition. “For some time the river had not been flowing well and the Hindu community waited till the river’s full flow in the monsoon season to throw their ashes or would go to Sukkur,” Mr Chand said.
Asked if it were true that most Balmiks had converted to Christianity or Islam, Mr Chand said, “Most of the Balmik Christians are secretly Hindus. One will see what happens once the pyre is established. There is a contradiction in their words and deeds.”