KP chief secretary instructed to recover amount within a month
Make the people who attacked the Krishna Dwara temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak pay for the damages, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
“Divide Rs34 million equally among all the attackers and recover the amount from them within a month,” the top court instructed the chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In December 2020, a mob of more than 200 people attacked a temple situated in Karak’s Teri union council. The attackers set the building on fire and vandalised the temple for hours, while the police were missing from the scene.
In the months that followed, at least 119 people were arrested. The Supreme Court took a suo motu notice of the attack. It was revealed during the proceedings that Rs34 million will be required to renovate the temple.
At a hearing on Wednesday, the advocate general revealed that a trial against the suspects is underway. “What if one of the suspects proves to be innocent? What will we do with the money taken from them?” he asked.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, irked at the question, warned the advocate general to be mindful of his words. “These are the order of the Supreme Court.”
During the proceeding, one of the suspects, identified as Rehmat Salam, said he was trying to stop the mob from attacking the temple. The chief justice argued that the arrests were the orders of the court and can’t be defied.
Consequently, the hearing was adjourned for a month.
In July 1919, Guru Shri Paramhans Dayal was laid to rest in Karak and a temple was built there. Muslim residents of the area closed the temple after the Partition in 1947.
In 2015, the Krishna Dwara temple was restored on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The Hindus and the Muslims signed an agreement on December 22 agreeing that the renovation of the temple would not exceed the specified area.
Advocate Rohit Kumar, a representative of the Hindu community, said the residents violated the agreement by vandalising the temple.
But Muslim residents of the area claimed that the Hindu community was illegally expanding the temple building. They said the matter was reported to the police too.
Residents said the police’s failure to intervene angered the masses who later vandalised the temple.