Hindu temple vandalised in Karachi

    Five men vandalised a Hindu temple in the Korangi area of Karachi on June 8, pelted stones at an idol and threatened the workers at the site.

    According to an FIR registered at the Korangi police station, the unknown men on motorcycles stopped by the temple late night and inquired about the whereabouts of the pundit (caretaker).

    “At that time, there were just two workers inside the temple and they were painting the walls. When they told the men attackers that the pundit wasn’t available, the suspects started pelting stones at an idol,” the complainant, Sanjeev Kumar, said.

    Meanwhile, Korangi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Faisal Bashir Memon told private media that the temple was located inside a hall of a house in the area and renovation work was under way there.

    He said that a case against the miscreants has been registered under sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

    The police are further trying to obtain CCTV footage of the area to arrest the suspects as soon as possible, SSP Memon added.

    Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab tweeted a scan of the criminal complaint, promising that the “culprits will be brought to justice” and that the temple would be repaired.

    Meanwhile Pakistan has rejected remarks made by a spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accusing Islamabad of “systemic persecution of religious minorities” after a Hindu temple was vandalised in Karachi.

    “They (perpetrators) will not escape justice and the Government will deal with them with the full force of law,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday night, adding that an FIR had already been registered against the assailants and efforts were underway to identify and arrest them.

    Subsequently, at a press conference in Delhi on Thursday, Indian official Arindam Bagchi said: “We have noted the recent incident of vandalization of a Hindu temple in Karachi. We believe this is another act in the systemic persecution of religious minorities. We have conveyed our protest to the Government of Pakistan. Again urge it to ensure the safety, security and well being of the minority communities.”

    In its statement, the Foreign Office (FO) rejected Bagchi’s remarks. “Unlike the violence against the Muslim community that is orchestrated by religious fanatics who enjoy full patronage of India’s state machinery, the Government of Pakistan is seized of this matter and action is being taken against the perpetrators.”

    The Government of India, the FO continued, would be well advised to introspect and ensure the protection of the fundamental rights, lives, and places of worship of minorities across India, particularly Muslims who were facing brutal attacks from the proponents of ‘Hindutva’ holding on to the reins of power in the country.

    “Furthermore, unequivocal condemnation by the BJP top leadership and the Indian government, as well as decisive and demonstrable action against the BJP officials responsible for making sacrilegious remarks recently would be the first step towards healing the suffering of Muslims in India and the sentiments of Muslims worldwide,” it added.

    Last month anti-terrorism court handed down a five-year jail term and a large fine to each of 22 people convicted of vandalizing Siddhi Vinayak temple in Bhong city of Punjab province.

    This December, a man was arrested for entering and vandalizing the statue of Hindu deity Jog Maya, using a hammer, at Narian Pora Hindu temple in the Ranchore Line area of Karachi.

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