After a Hindu temple was set on fire and seriously damaged by a mob led by followers of a cleric in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district, police detained 14 people in overnight raids, officials said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the burning of the temple attracted criticism from human rights groups and the Hindu minority community.
Local police said at least 14 people were arrested in overnight raids and further raids were underway to apprehend people who took part or provoked the crowd to demolish the shrine.
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After members of the Hindu group got permission from local authorities to renovate the site, the attack occurred. The crowd was headed by a local priest and members of a fundamentalist political group, according to witnesses.
Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister for Religious Affairs, termed the attack ‘a plot against sectarian peace.’ “On Thursday, he took to Twitter, saying attacks on places of worship of religious minority groups are not allowed in Islam and “our religious, constitutional, moral and national duty is to defend the religious freedom of minorities.
The incident comes weeks after the government, upon the advice of a council of clerics, allowed Hindu people to establish a new temple in Islamabad.
While Muslims and Hindus usually live peacefully together in Pakistan, other attacks have occurred in recent years on Hindu places of worship.
CJP takes notice
In the meantime, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed took note of the incident and, by January 5, 2021, fixed the case for hearing.
According to a statement issued by the Apex Court, Ramesh Kumar, Member of the National Assembly and President of the Pakistan Hindu Council, called on the Chief Justice of the Karachi Registry of the SC and discussed the issue.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan expressed deep concern about the unfortunate event and told the Member of Parliament that he had already taken cognizance of the matter and resolved the matter before the court in Islamabad on 05.01.2021 with orders to the one-man Minority Rights Committee, KP Chief Secretary and KP Inspector General of Police to visit the site and send [a] report on 04.01.2021,