K-P CM announces rebuilding vandalised Hindu temple

Says several of those involved in attack arrested; vows to protect worship places of minorities


Our Correspondent January 01, 2021
Resentful local residents attacked a Hindu temple in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district on December 30, 2020. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR:

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Friday announced rebuilding the Hindu temple destroyed by a mob two days ago in Karak district.  

The chief minister assured that the provincial government will ensure the reconstruction of the temple as he vowed to protect worship places of minorities in all cases.

Khan informed that several people involved in the incident had been arrested. "Strict action will be taken against those involved. No one is allowed to take the law into their own hands," he added.

A mob, reportedly led by clerics, vandalised and later set a Hindu temple on fire in the southern Karak district of K-P. The temple, though no longer functional, is considered a revered pilgrimage site by the Hindu community.

Residents in the Terri area of Karak were not happy with the ongoing renovation and extension of the temple which is why they vandalised it before setting fire to it, according to community leaders. The mob was too big for the local administration and police to confront.

According to reports, local clerics were not happy with the handover of the temple to the Hindu community. The ongoing renovation further fuelled their anger that set off a chain of events that led to Wednesday’s vandalism, residents told The Express Tribune.

DPO Irafanullah told The Express Tribune that the Hindu community had bought some land to extend the temple where they were constructing a building.

However, a local cleric instigated people to attack the structure, he added. “They attacked and demolished the under-construction building. We’ve registered an FIR against the cleric,” he said adding that they were in control of the situation.

A day later, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed took notice of the desecration of the temple as police began rounding up dozens of suspects – including the cleric who had instigated the attack.

The top judge also directed the One Man Commission on Minorities Rights, the provincial chief secretary and police chief to visit the site and submit a report on the incident, according to a statement issued by the apex court.

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