BY SHWETA PORWAL
A Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area was demolished and was set on fire by hundreds of mobs following a dispute over the land occupied by the Hindu Temple.
The actual part of the temple which was vandalized was The Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi along with the Krishna Dwara Mandir in Teri village of Karak district claiming that the temple had encroached on extra land.
According to the sources, the temple was first attacked and vandalized in 1997. After the judgment of the Supreme Court in 2015, the reconstruction was allowed.
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The temple was attacked a day after it received permission for its reconstruction using hammers and gas bottles. The mob included hundreds of people and was led by a local cleric and supporters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party (Fazal ur Rehman group) who approached to demolish the reconstructing area along with the old one.
The police kept standing as bystanders as the Mandir was burned down and demolished in Karak. These are views from inside the Mandir after it was attacked and vandalised. Highly shameful. What is the govt going to do about this? pic.twitter.com/0WlGpjjU3B
— Ihtesham Afghan (@IhteshamAfghan) December 30, 2020
According to the local police, more than 30 people, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Rehmat Salam Khattak, were held in custody in overnight raids. Over 350 people have been named in the FIR. The local police are trying to trace the other people left. All the sections of law relating to terrorism have been included in the FIR against the accused and the police have sentenced to provide all the required security to the temple.
Meanwhile, the supreme court has also took the notice of the incident and has ordered the local authority to appear before the court on January 5. The court has also ordered a few officials to visit the site and make a report and present it before the court on January 4.
Human rights minister Shireen Mazari tweeted:
Strongly condemn the burning of a Hindu temple by a mob in Karak Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. KP govt must ensure culprits brought to justice. MOHR also moving on this. We as a govt have a responsibility to ensure safety & security of all our citizens & their places of worship.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) December 30, 2020
As an Islamic state, Pakistan has often proved hostile to its Hindu minority and Hindu places of worship have increasingly been vandalized or been targets of violence. Earlier this year a Hindu temple in Karachi was vandalized after blasphemy allegations were leveled at a local Hindu boy.
In July, Islamic activists blocked the construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad by challenging it in the courts.