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‘Security establishments stood by idly’: India lodges robust protest after temple desecrated in Pakistan’s Punjab province

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned on Thursday that Pakistani cost d’affaires was summoned and a agency protest was lodged

India on Thursday summoned Pakistan cost d’affaires and lodged a powerful protest on the assault on the Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The assault on the temple occurred in Bhong metropolis of Rahim Yar Khan district, 590 kilometres from Lahore, on Wednesday in response to an alleged desecration of a Muslim seminary by a minor Hindu boy.

“The attackers were carrying sticks, stones and bricks. They smashed the deities while raising religious slogans,” District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz mentioned.

India protests desecration of temple in Punjab province

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned on Thursday that Pakistani cost d’affaires was summoned and a agency protest was lodged “expressing our grave concerns at this reprehensible incident and the continued attacks on the freedom of religion of the minority community and their places of religious worship”.

India referred to as upon Pakistan to make sure the security, safety and well-being of its minority communities.

“We have seen disturbing reports on social media of a violent mob attack on a Ganesha temple in Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province of Pakistan. The mob attacked the temple, desecrated the holy idols and set fire to the premises. In addition to attacking the temple, the mob has also attacked surrounding houses belonging to the Hindu community,” he mentioned.

Bagchi contended that incidents of “violence, discrimination and persecution against the minority communities, including attacks on places of worship, have continued unabated in Pakistan.”

He added, “Within the last year itself, various temples and gurdwaras have been attacked, including the Mata Rani Bhatiyani Mandir in Sindh in January 2020, Gurdwara Sri Janamsthan in January 2020, and a Hindu temple in Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in December 2020.”

“These incidents are occurring at an alarming rate while the State and security institutions in Pakistan have stood by idly and completely failed in preventing these attacks on the minority communities and their places of worship,” the spokesperson added.

Pakistan CJI takes suto moto cognisance

Pakistan’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed took cognisance of the incident on Thursday after assembly parliamentarian Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court is ready to take up the temple assault on 6 August, and the chief justice directed the chief secretary and police chief of Punjab province to seem for the listening to together with a report on the incident.

Following a grievance from a Muslim cleric, police in Bhong village had registered a case below the Pakistan Penal Code on 25 July in opposition to a Hindu boy for allegedly urinating within the seminary.

A police officer mentioned the boy was arrested final week and booked below the blasphemy legal guidelines however subsequently launched on bail for being a minor.

On Wednesday, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf parliamentarian Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani posted movies of the temple assault on his Twitter wall, requesting legislation enforcement businesses to hurry to the spot to cease its “burning and vandalising”.

Vankwani met Chief Justice Ahmed on Thursday and knowledgeable him in regards to the assault on the temple.

Chief Justice Ahmed “showed grave concern over the tragic incident,” mentioned a press release issued by the apex courtroom on Thursday.

Imran Khan orders strict motion

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Political Communication, Dr Shahbaz Gill, mentioned that the PM Office had taken discover of the unhappy and unlucky incident.

Imran had directed the district administration to probe the matter and take strict motion, he mentioned.

“Pakistan’s Constitution provides freedom and protection to minorities to perform their worship freely,” Dr Gill added.

Earlier in a collection of tweets, Vankwani mentioned, “Attack on Hindu temple at Bhong City District Rahimyar Khan Punjab. Situation was tense since yesterday. Negligence by local police is very shameful. Chief Justice is requested to take action.”

He additional mentioned, “Strict action must be taken against those who attacked Hindu temple at Bhong. In contact with higher authorities. Situation is very critical right now.”

“Chief Justice is requested to take action, please. Interfaith harmony is need of time,” he mentioned.

District Police Officer Sarfraz mentioned that some 100 Hindu households live within the space and police have been deployed there to thwart any untoward incident. He mentioned no arrest has been made to date.

“Our first priority is to restore law and order and provide protection to the minority community,” Sarfraz mentioned.

Another police official mentioned the temple has been broken badly.

“We will arrest those miscreants who incited people to attack the temple,” he mentioned.

Previous assaults on Hindu temples in Pakistan

In December 2020, a century-old Hindu temple was vandalised by a mob in Terri village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district.

The apex courtroom, which took discover of the assault, had ordered authorities to begin the reconstruction of the temple that was vandalised by the mob and instructed them to get better the cash for the restoration work from the attackers whose act has brought on “international embarrassment” to the nation.

Hindus type the most important minority group in Pakistan.

According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus stay in Pakistan. However, in keeping with the group, over 90 lakh Hindus live within the nation.

The majority of Pakistan’s Hindu inhabitants is settled in Sindh province the place they share tradition, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They usually complain of harassment by the extremists.

With inputs from businesses

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