A violent spiritual mob has set fire to a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area and tried to tear it to the bottom.
Crowds of hundreds, reportedly led by Islamic clerics, descended on the Hindu temple in the village of Teri, in Karak district, on Wednesday and started to rip bricks from the partitions and set it on fire.
No one was contained in the temple on the time. Footage from the scene reveals the gang chanting slogans and cheers greeting the destruction.
The shrine, which was first erected in 1919 earlier than partition divided India and Pakistan, had not too long ago undergone refurbishment after an order from the supreme courtroom in 2015. This was the second time it had been demolished, following an incident in 1997 when it had been destroyed by a bunch of Muslim fanatics.
Police and guards had been stationed outdoors amid safety fears for the temple.
“It was beautifully renovated and the community liked the work but it always remained under threat from the extremists who destroyed it last time,” stated an area resident who requested anonymity. “I can’t say how much it’s been destroyed but people say it’s been badly damaged.”
Anger had begun to construct in current days after the development of a small property subsequent to the temple, which locals wrongfully believed was an unauthorised growth of the shrine.
Speaking to Dawn newspaper, one other native resident stated: “More than a thousand people led by some local elders of a religious party held a protest and demanded the removal of the Hindu place. Residents of nearby villages announced a protest demonstration a few days earlier which was completely ignored by police.”
The police confirmed that permission had been given for a peaceable protest, however that the folks had “taken the law into their own hands” after incendiary speeches riled up the crowds.
Lal Chand Malhi, a politician from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebration, condemned the destruction as “an unfortunate incident”.
“Police officials have assured me that they will arrest the perpetrators as soon as possible,” he stated.
Human rights minister Shireen Mazari tweeted: “Strongly condemn the burning of a Hindu temple by a mob in Karak, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. KP government must ensure culprits [are] brought to justice.”
Mazari stated the federal government can be investigating the incident. “We as a government have a responsibility to ensure safety and security of all our citizens and their places of worship,” she stated.
As an Islamic state, Pakistan has typically proved hostile to its Hindu minority and Hindu locations of worship have more and more been vandalised or been targets of violence. Earlier this yr a Hindu temple in Karachi was vandalised after blasphemy allegations have been levelled at an area Hindu boy.
In July, Islamic activists blocked the development of the primary Hindu temple in Islamabad by difficult it in the courts. However, final week permission was granted by the state physique, the Council of Islamic Ideology, for the mission to go forward.