Residents allege it was being expanded illegally
A historic Hindu temple was set ablaze in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district on Wednesday, residents and the police said.
The Krishna Dwara temple is situated in Karak’s Teri union council. It came under attack by hundreds of residents who set fire to the building.
The miscreants surrounded and vandalised the temple for hours but the police were missing from the scene.
In July 1919, Guru Shri Paramhans Dayal was laid to rest at the site 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.
A large contingent of police reached the site after several hours and brought the situation under control.
Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari condemned the burning of the Hindu temple in Karak.
“The KP government must ensure culprits are brought to justice. Ministry of Human Rights is also moving on this,” she said on Twitter.
“We as a government have a responsibility to ensure safety and security of all our citizens and their places of worship.”
Mazari confirmed in her tweet that the police have registered an FIR. Further action was being taken, she added.
Worship places belonging to the Hindu community have been desecrated in Pakistan in the past too.
In October, a group of men vandalised idols at a temple in Sindh’s Nagarparkar. A suspect arrested later told the police he had done it for money.
A pre-Partition Hindu temple was demolished in Karachi’s Lyari on August 16. “The Hanuman temple dated back almost 200 years and was a worship place for several families living in the neighbourhood,” Pakistan Hindu Council Patron-in-Chief and MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said at the time.
In February 2019, an arson attack on a Hindu temple had spread unrest in Kumb in Sindh’s Khairpur district. Unidentified people had entered the Sham Sundar Shewa Mandli temple and set fire to three sacred books and idols.