New dispute over Karak temple

DC objects to the construction of washrooms at new place which irks the Hindu community


Saadullah Khattak July 16, 2021
A file photo of the Samadhi made of Greek marble especially imported for the temple from abroad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARAK:

A new dispute has surfaced between the Hindu community and district administration during the reconstruction work of the vandalised temple and Samadhi in the Karak district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

Talking to The Express Tribune, a Hindu elder Prim Chand Taleeja, the administrator of the temple, said that few days ago 102nd death anniversary of Param Hans Diyal Jee was celebrated at the temple but portable toilets were transported from Islamabad to the site because there was a dispute on the construction of washrooms at the temple.

This caused great inconvenience to the hundreds of devotees.

“The district administration wants to reconstruct the bathrooms at the old site but before the attack we had purchased 11 marla land for an expansion and we want the washrooms at the new site away from the Samadhi,” he said, adding that district administration was not allowing it.

Another Hindu elder claimed the previous Deputy Commissioner (DC) was the main hurdle in this regard and he had taken the stance that if the washrooms were allowed at the new site it would irk the local residents and they could again attack the temple.

“We have purchased land at the market price from the local residents and we want to expand the 10 marla Samadhi by including the 11 marla house in it as thousands of devotees visit it each year on the occasion of anniversaries,” he said, adding that the district administration should have no issue with the location of just bathrooms in the under construction temple.

“Previously the bathrooms were near the Samadhi but now we have sufficient enough space to take them away.

There should no problem with anyone in this regard,” he said, adding that under the agreement between those involved in the attack and government, the Hindu community had been assured that they will be allowed all rights given in the constitution of Pakistan but the district administration is doing its exact opposite,” he said, adding that the provincial government should intervene in the matter and solve the issue as soon as possible because it is causing unrest among his community.

It is worth mentioning here that the temple was attacked by Maulana Sharifullah-led mob in December 2020. It was completely destroyed in the attack and the government had booked hundreds of locals including Maulana Sharifullah who were arrested and put behind bars.

The same temple was vandalized by Maulana Sharifullah in 1997 too but it was reconstructed by the Hindu community on self-help basis.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2021.

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