An angry mob demolished and set on fire a Hindu temple in Karak district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province on Wednesday following a dispute over the land occupied by it. According to sources, a Muslim cleric from Karak, who enjoys the support of a militant group, allegedly instigated the local Muslims against the Hindu community and provoked them to demolish the temple.
District police officer Irfan Marwat said the mob was protesting the expansion work of the temple and demolished new construction work alongside the old structure. The temple was first attacked and demolished in 1997. After intervention by the Supreme Court in 2015, the local community had agreed to its reconstruction. Despite the reconstruction, there was a dispute over the land allocated to the temple. This also led to some misunderstanding between the temple supporters and local clerics. Eyewitnesses said that hundreds of people set fire to the building on Wednesday. They surrounded and vandalised the temple for hours but police did not intervene.
A video which has gone viral on the internet shows a large gathering of people demolishing the temple with hammers. Sources said police have identified a person named Maulana Sharif but he hasn’t been arrested so far. The incident comes roughly a fortnight after the Pakistan government gave permission for the construction of Sri Krishna temple in Islamabad after the state-run Council of Islamic Ideology ruled that Islamic laws allow minorities to have their own religious place.