30 arrested over attack on Hindu temple in northwest Pakistan

According to a statement by the apex court, Hindu lawmaker and the Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Kumar Vankwani called on Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in Karachi to discuss the issue.
Pakistan Hindu Council members hold a protest against the attack on a Hindu temple in the northwestern town of Karak. (Photo| AP)
Pakistan Hindu Council members hold a protest against the attack on a Hindu temple in the northwestern town of Karak. (Photo| AP)

Over 30 people, including several Muslim clerics and members of a radical Islamist party, were arrested for vandalising a Hindu temple in northwest Pakistan even as the provincial government has vowed its reconstruction and the country's Supreme Court has ordered the local authorities to appear before it on January 5.

According to a statement by the apex court, Hindu lawmaker and the Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Kumar Vankwani called on Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in Karachi to discuss the issue. "The chief justice of Pakistan showed grave concern over the tragic incident and informed the member of parliament that he has already taken cognizance of the issue and has fixed the matter before court on January 5, at Islamabad," according to the statement.

The court has also issued directions to one-man Commission on Minorities Rights and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief secretary and inspector general of police to visit the site and submit a report on January 4.

Spokesman for the provincial government, Kamran Bangash, said on Thursday the government would reconstruct the temple, which was damaged in a mob attack. The mob was led by a local cleric and supporters of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party (Fazal ur Rehman group).

According to the police, more than 30 people, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Rehmat Salam Khattak, were arrested in overnight raids. Over 350 people were named in the FIR, provincial police chief KPK Sanaullah Abbasi said.

How it unfolded

A mob had vandalized the temple in Terri village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district and set it on fire on Wednesday, protesting against its expansion work. The mob, initially raising  slogans, reportedly turned
violent after provocation by some clerics, according to media reports

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