Pak court orders not to demolish Hindu temple

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Islamabad, Sept 17: A Pakistani court has warned authorities in Karachi from demolishing a 200-year-old Hindu temple, a report said. According to a report published in The Dawn newspaper recently, the Sindh High Court stopped the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and others from demolishing the Shri Laxmi Narayan Mandir at the Native Jetty Bridge. A bench led by Chief Justice Mushir Alam instructed a court official to inspect the temple and give a report on its state within seven days.

A constitutional petition was filed by a resident, Kailash Wishram, on the temple premises pointing out that a private firm, along with the KPT, had begun construction work which blocked access to seawater, which was an essential part of offering prayer at the temple. The petition said that the construction work was not only threatening the temple but also the minority rights. It also said that the temple was built ages before partition and Hindus have been performing rituals for a long time.

The secretary of the ports and shipping ministry, the chairman of the KPT and a private firm which ran a food joint under the bridge were named the respondents.

Wishram said that the construction was being made at the behest of Mukesh Chawala, the provincial minister of excise and taxation and a Hindu Panchayat member, said The Dawn report.

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