Religious intolerance: Hindu temple vandalised in Peshawar

Published: May 21, 2012
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" The Hindu
community will
remain calm and
record its protest
peacefully,"
Representative of the Hindu
community Haroon Sarblal.

" The Hindu community will remain calm and record its protest peacefully," Representative of the Hindu community Haroon Sarblal.

PESHAWAR: In a brazen act of vandalism, unidentified men sneaked into a Hindu temple in the capital city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday, smashed a holy figurine and burnt down scriptures and images of deities.

“We opened the temple around 6pm and found all holy scriptures and images burnt down. A statuette of Lord Shiva was also smashed to pieces,” Ramesh Lal, a priest at Guru Gorakhnath temple, told The Express Tribune.

The temple is situated in the Gorgathri neighbourhood inside the walled city.

Peshawar, which is believed to be one of the oldest living cities of South Asia, houses dozens of monuments and structures from the Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and British eras.

The priest said that the community had reported the incident to the local police who gave them the customary cold-shoulder.

“Vandals smashed a statuette of Lord Shiva to pieces and burnt down the holy Gita as well as several images of our deities,” Lal said. The temple, according to him, did not have armed guards because the government pays scant attention to the security needs of a Hindu place of worship.

According to Lal, the 160-year-old temple was named after a Hindu pontiff Guru Goraknath. The local Hindu community had abandoned the temple following the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. For decades no ritual was undertaken within the temple ground until the Peshawar High Court handed over its custody to the Hindu community a few months ago.

“This desecration and vandalism has hurt the religious sentiments of our community. Lack of cooperation from police and administration has added insult to the injury,” Lal said and added that the police were reluctant to concede that the temple had holy images and figurines.

“When the temple was reopened [after the PHC verdict] after almost six decades, we imported a figurine from India which cost us hundreds of thousands of rupees,” Lal claimed.

Haroon Sarblal, a representative of the Hindu community, condemned the incident as ‘unacceptable’. He called upon the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to arrest the vandals and provide security guards for the temple.

“If the government wants the Hindu community to remain calm, it should arrest the vandals and punish them accordingly,” Sarblal told The Express Tribune.

These acts of vandalism and desecration  are a deliberate attempt to create communal tension in the city, he said. However, he vowed that the Hindu community would remain calm and record its protest peacefully.

No group has claimed responsibility for the vandalism – but past attacks on the shrines of Muslim Sufi saints and spiritual figures have been blamed on Taliban insurgents.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • iftikhar hussain
    May 21, 2012 - 7:54AM

    This can not be done by a muslim who knows Islam. Its either the job of some ignorant muslim or more probably RAW is behind this

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    May 21, 2012 - 8:31AM

    Islamic intolrance to coexist with other religion is well known . Taliban distroyed statue of lord Buddha in Baniyan as a result they have been slougtered all over .Now its tlme to face the consiquences of their misdeeds by the orthodox muslims of Pakistan . Entire world is watching their inhuman behavior .

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  • Reddy
    May 21, 2012 - 8:54AM

    Well done.
    I would only like to know how different this is from he demolition of the Babri Masjid.
    You Pakistanis are still talking about the Babri incident across the border when you cant/wont do a damn thing about minority Hindu bashing happening in your corridors.
    Its no wonder, nobody in the world stage takes you seriously on any intention.
    Good luck on your efforts to join the world order.

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  • HumanFirst
    May 21, 2012 - 10:34AM

    What a Shame for me as a Muslim and a Pakistani.

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  • Indian
    May 21, 2012 - 11:01AM

    This is the legacy of Mr.Jinnah, the protector of minorities and Quaid E Azam as he was called…. Perfect!!!!

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  • IndiKid
    May 21, 2012 - 11:11AM

    Muslims are secular when in minority ( like India) but show their true colors when in majority ( like in Pak and egypt)

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  • Sunny
    May 21, 2012 - 11:12AM

    @ Infitikhar,
    Typical Pakistani mind, blame everything on RAW and keep silent

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  • Sunny
    May 21, 2012 - 11:21AM

    when babri mosque incident took place, many temples in Pakistan were attacked, now should indians start attacking mosques in india ? i don’t favour such attacks on any holy place but muslims should learn something and should not always blame their wrong deeds on others .

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  • Malik
    May 21, 2012 - 11:35AM

    @Reddy: Babri Mosque was destroyed by a mob in full presence of police, who did nothing to stop the destruction. This is an act of vandalism committed in the dark of the night.
    We the citizens of Pakistan condemn this act, but do Indians as a nation condemn the destruction of Babri Mosque?

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  • May 21, 2012 - 12:02PM

    No comments are worth mentioning. The world have no sympathy on Pakistanis when drones kill them or terrorists bomb them.

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  • guru bhat
    May 21, 2012 - 1:29PM

    Shame the Pak Muslims forgetting that they are the descendents of the same clan of Hindus and Kashmiri Pandiths. Swami Vivekananda was right – letting a Hindu to convert to other religion is like having created one more enemy of Hindusim, We condemn this and the Govt must protect the local Hindus.

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  • Ayaz
    May 21, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Hay all buddies just stop this ‘liberal troll’. This was vandalism by the people of the same community. They are having differences and disputes over this temple for years. I think ET should publish followup story as well.

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  • Yash
    May 21, 2012 - 6:31PM

    @Malik:

    simple answer is both YES and NO…

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  • parth
    May 21, 2012 - 6:54PM

    @iftikhar hussain:
    RAW behind this??? …you can’t hide muslim intolerance towards other religions by blaming others..

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  • Rajesh
    May 21, 2012 - 7:22PM

    @Malik – “We the citizens of Pakistan condemn this act, but do Indians as a nation condemn the destruction of Babri Mosque?” There was widespread condemnation of demolition of Babri Masjid in India. There was protest march and dharna in many places in India and many non-Muslims participated in it.

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  • s shah
    May 21, 2012 - 8:17PM

    Shameful!

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  • Yash
    May 21, 2012 - 8:25PM

    @Rajesh:

    no use justifying dude…they wont understand…

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  • iftikhar hussain
    May 22, 2012 - 9:11AM

    in india muslims are treated like brothers and events like gujraat train and massacre in kashmir are just “misunderstandings” between brothers of different religions

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  • sher dil khan
    May 22, 2012 - 9:16AM

    Well you can’t compare it with Babri masjid these minor incidents rarely happens in Pakistan but in india if you just go 2 weeks back see the news of hydrabad where indian hindus through pig heads in mosques and Muslims threw cow heads in temples. In indian Punjab go ask the sikhs what they say about hindus, RSS & Shiv sena and if you still not satisfied

    visit : http://www.facebook.com/realityofindia

    Conclusion nothing is comparable to Hindu extremism & Saffron Terrorism of India – I’m not against Hindus but against these extremists whether they are Taliban or Shiv Sena

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  • Shyam
    May 22, 2012 - 11:16AM

    @sher dil khan

    In indian Punjab go ask the sikhs what they say about hindus, RSS & Shiv sena and if you still not satisfied

    ROLFMAO! Do you really believe what you are saying hahahahaha. You find facebook and youtube as referenceable sources LOL!

    When was the last time someone from another community blew himself up in name of religion

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  • ASDASD
    May 23, 2012 - 3:19AM

    @iftikhar hussain:
    Unfortunately it seems that a LOT of Muslims are not very smart and educated…

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  • iftikhar hussain
    May 24, 2012 - 10:25AM

    @ASDASD: Thats why people play with them. Even those who commit much bigger crime and with state sponsor are ready to condemn the muslims

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  • Ranbir
    May 26, 2012 - 11:54AM

    Lets not make it a Hindu VS Mulsim thing nor India Vs Pakistan….Lets talk about the protection of minorities and their co-existence in their respective country. My simple question is who is safer where, “Hindus in Pakistan” or “Muslims in India”. The testimony is in numbers at partition (1947) Muslim population was 9.9 % and now its 15% in India. In Pakistan, Hindu population was 24% (1947) and now its 5.5% (2012).
    Anybody who is raising voice over the demolition of Babri Majid (which was supposedly a temple of Ram and was destroyed by Babar) should see the numbers “Only 26 out of the 428 temples are functional now” source:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HinduisminPakistan. Please check facts before you sling mud on somebody.

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  • df
    May 26, 2012 - 11:23PM

    @Malik:
    indian nation condems it definitely thats why cases r still going on in babri case.
    but in response of babri(which was in dispute in court from late 1800s & no muslim prayer took place babri for over 100 yrs ) pakistanis n bangladeshis demolished thousands of temples.

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  • sher dil khan
    May 27, 2012 - 12:08PM

    @df:
    few temples have been destroyed in Pakistan and Bangladesh and few thousand muslims have been martyred in India!

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  • sher dil khan
    May 27, 2012 - 12:10PM

    @Ranbir:
    Its minorities own wish and will to keep their temples functional or disused.

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  • Ranbir
    May 27, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @sher dil khan
    Yeah!…Even Ayodhya’s population that offered prayers at Babri Mahjid wanted to keep it functional…were they able to? Its a different matter that the Supreme court of Secular India have handed over justice and did not allow any temples to be build on the site of demolished Mahjid.
    Now , imagine this happening to 402 temples happening in Pakistan. Just like what happened to the Peshawar temple. Minorities can’t pray with arms and ammunition. Your suggestion is as naive as stupid.

    Recommend

  • Meena Gabeena
    Jun 5, 2012 - 9:33AM

    Pakistan must apologize all the Hindus around the world and the people who did this should be given a severe punishment.

    and in return of Babri Masjid, the number of temples that have been burned down should also be mentioned for ever!!

    Get a life people, stop justifying sick acts in the society!

    Recommend

  • Sahil
    Jun 15, 2012 - 6:07AM

    @iftikhar hussain:
    Who knows, zionists might be behind it either. Or for that matter, it might be propoganda of evil Americans. We are peace loving Pakistani muslims and entire world is conspiring to show us in bad light.

    Recommend

  • JP
    Jun 18, 2012 - 1:01AM

    @Malik:

    I dont know of a party other than BJP and Shivsena which didnt condemn the Babri incident. This is contrast to yoru local administration who are turning cold shoulder to this incident. Its 20 years since the lone incident of Babri Masjid happened. No other such event in india since last 20 year. But how many temples have been desecrated in Pakistan since then?

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  • JP
    Jun 18, 2012 - 1:06AM

    @sher dil khan:
    i am sorry to day that you seem to be living in a world far away from facts.. Do some neutral learning on Wikipedia rather following the likes of Zaid Hamid.

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  • JP
    Jun 18, 2012 - 1:08AM

    @Sahil:
    i love the sarcasm in your comment.. hope confused ifti understands that. :)

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  • Waseem Rehman
    Jun 18, 2012 - 7:40AM

    This is a very shameful act. Destroying places of worship of our Hindu brothers shouldn’t go unpunished. I hope those behind this act recognize their crime and handover themselves to the authorities. May Allah guide us. Ameen.

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Jun 18, 2012 - 10:56AM

    @Waseem Rehman:
    Ameen

    Recommend

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