Pakistani Muslims dig up Hindu grave in plot dispute

KARACHI (AFP) - Muslims dug up a Hindu grave in southern Pakistan in a dispute over burial plots, police said on Tuesday, in a flare up of tensions between the two religious groups.

The Muslim population in Pangrio town, some 225km east of Karachi, protested that a man from the minority Hindu community had been buried in the main Muslim graveyard.

"The members of the Muslim community dug up the grave on Sunday, removed the body and handed it over to the town administration," local police officer Aslam Khanzada told AFP.

The body of Bhoromal Bheel has now been reburied in another location, he said.

Hindus account for 2 per cent of Pakistan's 180 million population, mostly in Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital but tension between the two religious groups is relatively rare.

"The city was shut in protest by the Muslims," Mr Maulvi Mithan, the prayer leader in a local mosque said.

Relatives of the deceased told AFP that police had sided with the Muslims.

"My cousin's body was removed and recklessly laid at the road all the day long in the scorching heat," said cousin Nar Singh Bheel, adding that Hindus had buried bodies in that part of the graveyard for decades.

"We have over a hundred graves of our forefathers there," he said.