Will restore Mandir: Imran Khan condemns attack on Hindu temple
Islamabad, Aug 06: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack on a Hindu temple by a mob in the country's Punjab province after India lodged a strong protest and summoned Pakistan's charge d'affaires over the incident.
Taking to twitter, Imran Khan posted, "Strongly condemn attack on Ganesh Mandir in Bhung, RYK yesterday. I have already asked IG Punjab to ensure the arrest of all culprits and take action against any police negligence. The government will also restore the Mandir."
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
Pakistan's Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed also expressed 'grave concern' over the incident and fixed the matter before court for hearing on Friday.
What happened on Thursday
A mob attacked the Hindu temple at Bhong city of Rahim Yar Khan district, some 590 km from Lahore, in reaction to alleged desecration of a Muslim seminary.
In a video that went viral on social media, hundreds of people were seen carrying sticks, stones and bricks with which they damaged idols in the Hindu temple while raising religious slogans.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party's Hindu Member National Assembly (MNA) Ramesh Kumar Vankwani posted videos of the temple attack on his Twitter wall, requesting law enforcement agencies to rush to the spot to stop its 'burning and vandalising'.
In a series of tweets, Vankwani said, 'Attack on Hindu temple at Bhong City District Rahimyar Khan Punjab. Situation was tense since yesterday. Negligence by local police is very shameful. Chief Justice is requested to take action.' He further said, 'Strict action must be taken against those who attacked Hindu temple at Bhong. In contact with higher authorities. Situation is very critical right now.' 'Chief Justice is requested to take action, please. Interfaith harmony is need of time,' he said.
District Police Officer Sarfraz said that some 100 Hindu families are living in the area and police have been deployed there to thwart any untoward incident. He said no arrest has been made so far.
'Our first priority is to restore law and order and provide protection to the minority community,' Sarfraz said.
Another police official said the temple has been damaged badly.
Sarfraz said that after a social media post inciting people of Bhong to take revenge for desecration, the mob started gathering outside the temple and attacked it.
'We will arrest those miscreants who incited people to attack the temple,' he said.
Not the first time
In December 2020, a century-old Hindu temple was vandalised by a mob in Terri village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district.
The apex court, which took notice of the attack, had ordered authorities to start the reconstruction of the temple that was vandalised by the mob and instructed them to recover the money for the restoration work from the attackers whose act has caused 'international embarrassment' to the country.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.
According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
The majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by the extremists.
India has time and again raised concerns over the attacks on minorities and non-Islamic religious structures in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
with PTI inputs