Lahore, 5th January: Supreme Court (SC) has issued orders for the reconstruction of the damaged Hindu Shrine in Karak, KP.
Baaghi TV: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) to start the reconstruction of a century-old Samadhi (shrine) of a Hindu saint in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Supreme Court has also directed the board to submit details of all functional and non-functional temples and gurdwaras across the country.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed had taken notice of the attack on the shrine last month by a mob and ordered the KP chief secretary and the inspector general (IG) as well as Dr Shoaib Suddle, the head of a commission on minorities’ rights, to visit the site and submit a comprehensive report by Jan 4.
The temple, which was built before 1920, was attacked by a large mob after local elders of a religious party in their fiery speeches at a protest demonstration demanded to remove of the temple.
According to reports from Dawn News, during the hearing today, a three-member bench headed by the chief justice also directed the EPTB to clear encroachments from temples across the country and take action against officials involved in the encroachments.
During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, while addressing the IG, inquired that the police post is nearby, how did this incident happen, what were your intelligence agencies doing?
IG KP said that a protest by JUI-F was going on at the site which was sponsored by the leader Maulana Faizullah.
The police chief said that out of 6 clerics, only Maulvi Sharif provoked the protest. 109 people involved in the incident have been arrested, including SP and DSP on duty. 92 officials have been suspended.
The Chief Justice said that suspension alone was not enough, money should be taken from Maulvi Sharif for the construction of the temple.
The EPTB chairman told the court that the shrine was run by the Hindu community itself and it was non-functional which was why EPTB officials were not present there.
However, Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Kumar informed the court that fairs were held at the shrine and around 300-400 Hindus visited it every month.
Kumar added, “The shrine was also damaged in 1997. After the EPTB refused, the council gave money from its own funds for reconstruction.”
Justice Ahsan remarked that abandoned waqf properties have money to construct their own buildings but not for Hindus.
The court has sought details of cases of active and inactive temples, abandoned waqf properties and performance report of chairman abandoned waqf properties (EPTB) within two weeks and has directed the abandoned waqf properties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to consult the minority commission.
The court said it would issue a detailed hearing order later, with a next hearing in two week.
The Shoaib Suddle commission presented its report before the court, a day earlier, which highlighted that the devastating action by miscreants on Dec 30 in the presence of police has tarnished the country’s image by hurting the feelings of the Hindu community and minorities.
As per reports, the mob had also looted valuables from the temple after setting it site on fire but the station house officer and DSP did not take any action to control the situation.
Stay tuned to Baaghi TV to read further updates!