A violent religious mob in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province has set fire to a Hindu temple and tried to tear it to the ground.
Allegedly, a mob of thousands led by Islamic scholars descended on a Hindu temple in Teri village of Karak district on Wednesday and started tearing bricks from the walls and setting it on fire.
There was no one inside the temple at that time. Footage from the scene shows crowds chanting slogans and welcoming the devastation.
Religious extremists today demolished a Hindu temple in Karak. This is a very embarrassing moment for us because it shows how we treat minorities in our country.
You cannot run a federation unless the rights of minorities are protected. Strongly condemning. pic.twitter.com/PJOKZA3a1l
– IhteshamAfghan December 30, 2020
The shrine, which was built in 1919 before the partition of India and Pakistan, was recently restored in 2015 following a Supreme Court order. It was the second such demolition since the 1997 incident. By a group of Muslim fanatics.
Police and guards were deployed outside amid security concerns for the temple.
A local resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It was beautifully renovated and the community liked the work but it was always threatened by extremists who Destroyed one last time. ” “I can’t say how much it was destroyed but people say it was badly damaged.”
The construction of a small property next to the temple had sparked outrage in recent days, which locals mistakenly thought was an unauthorized extension of the shrine.
Speaking to Dawn, another local resident said: “More than a thousand people, led by some local elders of a religious party, staged a protest and demanded the removal of the Hindu site. Residents of nearby villages Had announced a demonstration a few days ago which was completely ignored by the police.
Police confirmed that was allowing peaceful protest, but after the great speeches from people angry outbursts after people took the “law into their own hands”.
Lal Chand Malahi, a politician from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, condemned the disaster as a “tragic incident”.
“Police officials have assured me that they will arrest the culprits as soon as possible,” he said.
Human Rights Minister Shirin Mazari tweeted: “A mob in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa strongly condemned the burning of a Hindu temple. The KP government should ensure the perpetrators.” [are] He was brought to justice.
Mazari said the government would investigate the incident. “As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all our citizens and their places of worship,” he said.
As an Islamic state, Pakistan has often been hostile to its Hindu minority and Hindu places of worship have been rapidly vandalized or tortured. A Hindu temple in Karachi was vandalized earlier this year after a local Hindu boy was charged with blasphemy.
In July, Islamic activists challenged the construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad. Last week, however, the project was approved by the state-run Islamic Ideological Council.
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