What were the police doing, asks CJ
Arrest the men who attacked the temple in Rahim Yar Khan and make them pay for the damage, a court ruled on Friday after it took up the case itself in a suo motu hearing.
A video showing a mob attacking a mandir went viral on social media on Wednesday and emerged to be of the lone Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan’s Bhong city.
The men broke the windows and shouted Allah-o-Akbar as they vandalized the temple. The court ordered the immediate arrest of the accused in the temple attack.
Action has been ordered against those who instigated the attack.
Police said that around 10 days ago, a seminary or madrassa teacher lodged a complaint that a young non-Muslim boy entered the seminary and desecrated it. The police registered a case and arrested the boy. But days later, a court released him on bail.
When he was released, however, a mob protested by shutting the city down and blocking the M5 motorway. Police tried to negotiate with the protestors but failed. It was after this that the protestors attacked the temple.
The IG Punjab, chief secretary and Additional Advocate General were present in court on Friday. The chief justice reprimanded IG Inam Ghani. “A temple was vandalized. What was the administration and police doing?” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad asked. The remorse is clear, he dryly remarked.
The administration’s priority was to protect the minority population around the temple, the IG said.
If they were professionals, the issue would have been resolved, the CJ remarked.
Imagine what would have happened if mosque had been demolished, he went on to say.
If the commissioner and deputy commissioner cannot work, remove them, said the chief justice. This whole incident happened because of a nine-year-old child, he added. And why was the child arrested? This brings a bad name to Pakistan internationally. The police did not do their job properly. It has been three days, why has no one been arrested?
Terrorism provisions have been added to the case, the IG said. The child was presented before a magistrate, he added.
What does an nine-year-old child know about religion, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad replied.
Unbridled social media is the root cause of the problem, the chief secretary said.
Justice Qazi Amin was skeptical that the police would just reach some compromise with the accused as soon as they were out on bail. He said that the temple should be rebuilt with government money.