RAHIM YAR KHAN:
Dozens of people reportedly vandalised a Hindu temple in the town of Bhong and blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway after an eight-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated in a local seminary, was granted bail by a local court on Wednesday.
The boy, Bhavish Kumar Meghwar, had accidentally entered a seminary in Bhong on July 24. Local cleric Hafiz Mohammad Ibrahim berated the eight-year-old boy and reportedly, Meghwar urinated out of fear of the cleric’s anger.
The boy then ran away and hid before the cleric could catch him.
The next day, the cleric went to Bhong’s police station and registered an FIR against the boy. Since the boy was only eight, the FIR was lodged against an unknown person. The police presented Meghwar in court a few days later, where he was granted bail.
Following the court’s decision, a mob of young men gathered and vandalised the Shree Ganesh Hindu temple in the town.
Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged.— Veengas (@VeengasJ) August 4, 2021
Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/grLlT582XL
Hindu residents of the area alerted the police, who allegedly did not take the reports seriously. By the time the local police arrived at the scene, most of the temple and its idols had been damaged or destroyed. Following the police’s arrival, the mob soon dispersed.
Hindu residents of Bhong, of whom there are 150-200 families, appeared afraid and distressed after the events.
Prime Minister Imran Khan while taking notice of the incident directed Punjab police chief to arrest the culprits.
“Strongly condemn attack on Ganesh Mandir in Bhung, RYK yesterday. I have already asked IG Punjab to ensure arrest of all culprits & take action against any police negligence. The govt will also restore the Mandir,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Strongly condemn attack on Ganesh Mandir in Bhung, RYK yesterday. I have already asked IG Punjab to ensure arrest of all culprits & take action against any police negligence. The govt will also restore the Mandir.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 5, 2021
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari condemned the occurrence on her Twitter handle, adding that the event “violates our constitution and the basic human rights of our citizens”.
The attack on the Hindu temple in RYK is not simply condemnable but violates our constitution & the basic human rights of our citizens. MoHR in touch with RYK police since yesterday to ensure action ag perpetrators - got report - following up - our Parl Secy going to visit today.— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) August 5, 2021
The minister added that she is in contact with Rahim Yar Khan police so that action is taken against the perpetrators. Mazari also said that the parliamentary secretary will be visiting the area today.
Ashrafi condemns incident
Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Tahir Ashrafi condemned the ransacking of the Hindu temple.
“People who behave in this manner are not representatives of Islam, Muslims or Pakistan,” he said, during a press conference on Thursday.
According to Ashrafi, legal action against the perpetrators is underway on direct orders from Prime Minister Imran Khan, and an FIR has also been lodged.
“Pakistani law is for all citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims. The reaction to laws being broken should not be desecration, destruction and fighting”, the representative said.
Repairs for the temple’s damage have begun, he added.
Hindu and other minority Pakistanis are also condemning the incident and questioning the protection of minorities all over social media.
The All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat urged authorities to properly investigate the attack and arrest all culprits.
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