KARACHI, Dec 1: A Hindu temple was damaged and religious objects were allegedly desecrated in a demolition operation carried out in a Garden locality on Saturday.

However, the director of military lands and cantonments claimed that no religious place had been damaged in the anti-encroachment operation carried out in a locality falling within the jurisdiction of the Cantonment Board Karachi.

Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Vankwani condemned the demolition of a temple in the building in Doly Khata, near the Holy Family Hospital, where he said the Hindus had been living for a long time.

He said that the issue was in court and the demolition team along with police and Rangers came to the area on Saturday, started the operation immediately that destroyed residences as well as the temple in the building.

He said that the religious objects in the temple were desecrated and thrown out.

He said that a sense of insecurity among the Hindu community was spreading owing to such highhandedness by the administration and law-enforcement agencies.

He said that he tried to contact the home secretary and the chief secretary but they could not be approached.

However, the Sindh police chief was contacted and he informed him (Mr Vankwani) that the action was being taken on a court directive. He said that the issue was between residents of the building and a builder who claimed that he had purchased the building.

Mr Vankwani said that a meeting of the minority community victims was being organised at the demolished site on Sunday morning to devise a future line of action so that the minority community members were not be further victimised and their rights protected.

He also demanded stern action against those who had desecrated the temple/ religious place and objects and residences.

Meanwhile, Director Military Lands and Cantonments Zeenat Ahmed told Dawn that the military estate officer had conducted the anti-encroachment operation and vacated the building from the people who were illegally occupying it.

She said that the action was taken following the court orders.

She, however, made it clear that no religious place/temple was damaged or destroyed.

She said that the government had given clear orders that the religious place of any community should not be disturbed.

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