Pakistan SC learns of temple demolition by Suo Motu

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed learned about his suo motu of shaving a Hindu on Thursday tomb by a crowd led by supporters of local clerics in Karak district, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The case is due for review on January 5. Chief Justice Ahmed ordered the chairman of the Minority Rights Commission, the chief of police and the chief secretary of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to submit a report on the incident by January 4.
A notification issued by the apex court said the chief justice learned of the incident after meeting with the chief boss of the Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh kumar. “I trust the judiciary to do justice in this case”, Kumar said.
Meanwhile, police arrested 14 people during nighttime raids and claimed that other raids were underway to arrest those who had participated in or incited the crowd to demolish the shrine.
The shrine was attacked on Wednesday after members of the Hindu community received permission from local authorities to renovate the building. According to witnesses, the crowd was led by a local cleric and supporters of a religious political party.
Eyewitnesses claimed that clerics led the crowd to the shrine to force a stop to construction. Several rioters, they said, got excited by the rhetoric and set the shrine on fire before using construction tools to destroy it.
Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s samadhi (shrine) is considered sacred by the Hindu community and Hindu devotees, especially from Sindh, who frequently visited it.
This was not the first time the shrine had been targeted by fanatics. In 1997, a group of Muslim fanatics destroyed it. Since its renovation in 2015, police and guards have been posted outside.
The destruction of the temple drew condemnation from human rights activists and the Hindu minority.
Chela Ram Kewlani, chairman of the National Commission on Minorities, strongly condemned the incident, saying those responsible cannot be called human beings. “It is indeed a dark day for all of us. I ask people of all religions to come forward and support the cause so that strict action is taken against those responsible, ”he said.