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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Karak police asks NADRA to identify Hindu temple attack perpetrators

"Around 109 suspects had already been arrested and efforts are being made to apprehend the rest," says DIG Kohat Tayyab Hafiz Cheema.

Karak police authorities have sought the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) help to locate and identify all the people involved in the Hindu temple attack, through the videos of the incident which have been collected by police investigation teams.

“We have sought the help of NADRA to arrest all the accused involved in the incident and we are also mobilizing human intelligence teams as approximately 300 people have been charged in the FIR,” DIG Kohat Tayyab Hafiz Cheema told The Express Tribune. “Around 109 suspects had already been arrested and efforts are being made to apprehend the rest,” he added.

Read more: KP govt to reconstruct Hindu temple vandalized by angry mob

A local named Abdul Shah has already been arrested by the police authorities in Karak. He was involved in turning the local court against the temple’s extension and renovation back in November 2020. 

According to locals, the Hindu community was being asked for a price three times higher than the actual price of houses and shops in the area. The Hindu community wanted to extend the temple.

Read more: Pakistan condemns the construction of Hindu temple at Babri Mosque site

“Abdullah Shah is a local resident who is an opportunist in nature. He witnessed the entire process and then purchased two shops in order to resell it to the Hindu community and make some money,” the locals said.

“By that time the Hindu community had largely acquired the land for the temple and despite Abdullah Shah’s best efforts, they refused to buy more of it,” they added.

The Hindu community’s refusal to buy more land drove Abdullah Shah to turn this into a religious matter. He influenced the local court against the temple’s extension and renovation for this own financial motives.

Read more: Op-Ed: Demolition of Babri Mosque is an act of Hindu revenge

“Another local cleric Faizullah is also one of the masterminds of the attack. It is said that he was a Khateeb in Pakistan Air Force (PAF) but during the Musharraf government he was court-martialled and arrested,” according to the locals.

“Then he came to Terri village and started working as a cleric and joined JUI-F too.”

According to DPO Karak, Irfanullah Marwat, “Faizullah has been on the run ever since the attack, and police have been conducting a raid to apprehend him.”

Read more: Op-ed: Modi’s Hindutva ideology has failed India’s secularism

Abdullah Shah has been arrested by police, informed the DPO.

Moreover, there are reports from the locals that claim other religious clerics had also been threatening to attack the Hindu temple. However, these claims have not been corroborated by the police authorities. 

“We have no report of any hate speech by a local cleric,” DIG Cheema said.

Read more: Inter-faith harmony: Pakistan Islamic body allows Hindu temple construction