Minorities protest torching of Hindu shrine

Published January 4, 2021
The protesters, holding banners and placards, gathered outside the Peshawar Press Club and raised slogans against the police. — White Star
The protesters, holding banners and placards, gathered outside the Peshawar Press Club and raised slogans against the police. — White Star

PESHAWAR/KARAK: Members of the minority communities on Sunday held a protest demonstration against vandalising of a Hindu shrine (Samadhi) by a mob in Karak district and demanded of the government to take action against the relevant police officials for not taking measures to prevent the attack.

The protesters, holding banners and placards, gathered outside the Peshawar Press Club and raised slogans against the police.

They were led by Hindu Rights Movement chairman Haroon Sarabdiyal, Qaumi Watan Party’s minority wing leader Munir Akhtar, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl representative Farid Singh, Pakistan People Party representative Naseeb Chand and Christian community representative Pastor Shehzad Murad.

The participants said the historical building was set on fire by people due to negligence of the local police, and demanded of the provincial government to take action against the district police officer, the DSP and the area SHO.

The people did not act all of a sudden as they had had planned it in advance, but the police did not take notice, they lamented.

The protesters said the destruction of the historical shrine had caused serious unrest among the Hindu community. They urged the government to ensure protection to the people and their worship places.

The minority community members expressed satisfaction over the suo motu notice taken by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Teri police of Karak claimed to have arrested three more persons suspected of being involved in the burning of the Hindu shrine, taking the number of detained people to 48.

The officials said SHO Rehmatullah Wazir arrested Maulana Mohammad Haleem, Maulana Matiullah and Maulana Imdadullah. They had been shifted to an unknown location. Maulana Mirzaqeem, a prominent figure nominated in the shrine burning case, is still at large.

The principal accused, Maulana Sharif, has already surrendered to the police thanks to the efforts of the elected representatives to avoid further clash between the police and the local people.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2021

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