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Saturday, February 4, 2023
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Pakistan’s top court orders to rebuild demolished Hindu shrine in two weeks

The Supreme Court (SC) has directed relevant authorities to start restoration work of Hindu shrine in two weeks besides summoning details of all temples from the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).

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The Supreme Court (SC) has directed relevant authorities to start restoration work of Hindu shrine in two weeks besides summoning details of all temples from the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the suo motu notice over the tragic incident of vandalism at the shrine of a Hindu saint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Karak district.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that it was a sorrowful incident and the mob kept vandalising everything in the Hindu shrine.

CJP questioned how the police allowed the mob to enter the shrine’s premises instead of controlling the situation. To this, KP advocate general replied that it was unfortunate that the police had not taken any action. CJP said that the writ of the state should be maintained.

KP advocate general said that Molvi Sharif had been arrested on his involvement in the incident. The representative of KP police told the court that those police officials showed negligence on the scene have been suspended and complaints were also registered against them.

The KP chief secretary apprised the court that a contingent of 100 security personnel has been deployed on the Hindu shrine and the building will be restored by the government.

The chief justice remarked that the expenditures to restore the site should be received from the responsible persons. The chief secretary said that the Samadhi will be restored immediately at the government’s expenditures and compensation money will be received from the responsible persons.

The chairman of minorities’ commission said that ETPB authorities should takeover adjoining area of the shrine. Shoaib Suddle said that the prime accused of setting Samadhi on fire was Molvi Sharif and he hopes that he will not get bail easily.

A Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Kumar said that the community organises two major festivals at the shrine that are being attended by around 400 people. He said that Molvi Sharif had vandalised the shrine in 1997 as well, however, ETPB authorities had not restored the site despite getting orders from the court.

Read more: Politics on Islamabad’s Hindu temple is regrettable

Kumar apprised the apex court that the Hindu council spent Rs40 million funds to restore the Samadhi. The provincial police chief was given the responsibility to hold inquiry of the Karak incident.

He detailed that around 1,830 temples and Gurdwaras including 31 functional sites are located in Pakistan. The lawmaker thanked the apex court for giving importance and respect to the rights of minorities.

It is important to note the Council of Islamic Ideology has recently approved of the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad. The council released a notification that read “It is permitted for the Hindu community…to have a suitable place..[to] perform last rites of the deceased according to religious instructions.”

The council also did not stop PM Imran Khan from giving $600,000 for the temple’s construction in Islamabad.