The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field Thursday in southeastern Pakistan, police said, as they investigate her alleged murder in the latest suspected attack against 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 her skin had been peeled off, her breast cut off and her head split with a sharp object.
Daya Bheel, 40, had gone missing Wednesday, according to Surender Valasai, an assistant to Pakistan’s Chief Minister for Human Rights. 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.
Police in Sindh 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 did not share further details.
Pakistan’s Women 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, yet there is deafening silence in the power corridors and in the mainstream media,” the group said. “Women Democratic Front calls upon all the women of the country, all our sisters to join our hands to bring an end to this reign of violence and oppression.”
Nearly 97% of Pakistan’s 270 million people are Muslim, according to the country’s bureau of statistics, and minority groups often face discrimination and persecution.
According to the United States government’s 2021 report on International Religious Freedoms, mobs targeted 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 later burnt by a mob after being accused of committing blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed.