The samadhi (shrine) of a Hindu saint was vandalized by a mob. Locals and police officers confirmed that on Wednesday they were on fire at Karak District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The incident occurred in a large area of the city of Karak Teri. Police say police forces scattered the crowd after the attack.
‘More than a thousand people led by some local elders from a religious party protested and called for the demolition of the Hindu veneration site’ told Dawn News TV, a local local inhabitant who was present on the site during the violence, added that they were moving to the shrine before 1920 after delivering their speeches.
He said the mob chanting slogans set fire to the shrine before demolishing it and to a building belonging to a member of the Hindu community.
“Residents of nearby villages announced a protest demonstration a few days earlier which was completely ignored by police,” the resident said, accusing the police of having failed to protect the property.
Videos posted on social media showed a large crowd present at the site, chanting slogans and tearing down the walls of the property. Smoke and fire could be seen in the visuals.
Karaka District Police Officer Irfan Ullah confirmed the attack, saying the incident had created a law and order situation in the area.
He said the residents had issued a call for protest, but with the guarantee that they would remain peaceful. However, a cleric incited the crowd following which they proceeded to attack the shrine.
The police official said “secretly” a house was purchased by the keeper of the shrine. The protestors opposed its building, believing the shrine was enlarged.
There are no Hindus there, and the DPO clarified that it was the house of the samadhi.
He said that the mob demolished the mosque, which damaged the shrine next to it ‘collateral’ too.
“There was a large number of protesters and police controlled the situation,” DawnNewsTV said.
The DPO reported that the initial incident information report (FIR) was registered but no one has yet been detained.
“Legal action will be taken against all the people who took the law in their hands,” he said.
This was his second shrine attack, which was destroyed by the Supreme Court in 1997 and restored in 2015.
The incident was observed and police were asked to take steps against KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
The Hindu Temple
“Strongly condemn the burning of a Hindu temple by a mob in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. KP government must ensure [the] culprits [are] brought to justice.”
She said the event pushed her ministry too. “The duty as government is to ensure the protection and security of our people and their worship sites,” she wrote. “They are accountable.
Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari condemned this attack and urged the provincial government to “try the guilty.”
Irfanullah Khan District Chief of Police told Reuters that nine suspects had been detained after the attack.
In 1997, the temple was first built as a temple in the early 1900’s. It was ordered to be rebuilt by the Supreme Court in 2015.
Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Chairman of the Indian Council of Pakistan and a law-maker of the ruling party, said to the German news agency: “We will protest against an attack against our temple, which is one of the four largest holy sites of the Hindu community in Pakistan.”
“This was not the first such incident, as religious minorities’ intolerance in Pakistan has, for the last five years, unfortunately increased with more frequent assaults on worship places,” said Hindu rights activist Kapil Dev.
The first Hindu temple in the capital, Islamabad, was targeted by a smartphone in July.