Hindu temple in Pakistan vandalised, set on fire
A historic Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkwa province was vandalised and set on fire by an unruly mob of hundreds on Wednesday following a dispute over the land occupied by it.
The Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi along with the Krishna Dwara Mandir in Teri village of Karak district was vandalised by the mob that claimed the temple had encroached on extra land.
District police officer Irfan Marwat said the mob was protesting the expansion work of the temple and demolished new construction work alongside the old structure.
The temple was first attacked and demolished in 1997. After intervention by the Supreme Court in 2015, the local community had agreed to its reconstruction. Despite the reconstruction, there was a dispute over the land allocated to the temple. This also led to some misunderstanding between the temple supporters and local clerics. Eyewitnesses said that hundreds of people set fire to the building on Wednesday.
They surrounded and vandalised the temple for hours but police did not intervene.
Local media quoted advocate Rohit Kumar, a representative of the Hindu community, as saying that the temple did not exceed the agreed area and that residents violated the agreement by vandalising the temple.
No case has been registered and neither any arrest made so far in the incident.
Pakistan’s federal Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights Lal Chand Malhi strongly condemned the vandalisation by “some anti-social elements”.
Hindus are the biggest minority in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
The majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by the extremists.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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