PESHAWAR: After angry mob in Pakistans Khyber Pukhtunkhwa provinces Karak district, attacked and vandalized the shrine of a Hindu saint in Terri area of Karak; Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) government has announced reconstruction of the Hindu temple, along with launching a crackdown against the attackers.
Chief Minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) Mahmood Khan has issued instructions to relevant authorities to ensure reconstruction of the Hindu temple, while police authorities have arrested at least 45 people, including three notable clerics, who were nominated.
Among the nominated religious clerics, a local leader of religious political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Rehman Salam Khattak, has also been arrested.
Angry and violent protesters attacked and set a blaze the Samadhi of Shri Paramhansji Maharaj on Wednesday over dispute over its expansion. As per the police authorities, Rehman Salam Khattak of JUI-F had participated in a meeting before the attack on the shrine.
However, the plan to attack the shrine was decided and ordered by local clerics Maulana Mohammad Sharif and Maulana Faizullah. Police officials have been searching dozens of houses to arrest the people involved in the attack.
The shrine holds critical importance as in 2015, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the KP government to restore and rebuild the shrine, while hearing a petition by Ramesh Vankwani, member national assembly and patron of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC).
The court’s decision came after it became a dispute and confrontational contention between the Muslim and the Hindu community.
As per latest details, police authorities have been directed to ensure security of the places of worship of minorities and protect their constitutional right, enshrined in the country’s constitution.
KP Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi confirmed that ‘the first information report (FIR) has been lodged in the case and a probe was underway’.
“At least 350 persons had been named in the FIR,” he said.
Abbasi also confirmed that more arrests will be made in the coming days after the accused are identified through video clips and still images. The local leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) condemned the incident, insisting that an act of a few individuals should not be attributed to the entire Khattak tribe that inhabits Karak.
Moreover, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) took suo moto notice of the incident, fixing the case for hearing on January 5. Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, representative of Religious Harmony and Middle East, strongly condemned the incident, assuring zero tolerance towards the culprits.
“Attack on Hindu temple in Karak is very sorrowful and regrettable. The Constitution assures complete protection to the minorities and the elements involved in attack on temple have damaged the image of Islam and Pakistan,” he said.