Double Whammy: Pakistani Hindus Being Pressured To Pay Fines For Over 100 Muslims Who Destroyed Temple

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 23, 2021 11:01 AM +05:30 IST
Double Whammy: Pakistani Hindus Being Pressured To Pay Fines For Over 100 Muslims Who Destroyed TempleA still from a video of the attack in 2020
  • A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was destroyed by a mob in December 2020.

    Now, the 123 accused (clerics and majority population) in the case are demanding the Pakistani Hindu community to pay fines on their behalf.

In December 2020, a Hindu temple in Pakistan was set on fire by a violent religious mob belonging to the Islamic country’s majority population.

A year later, it is the Hindu community that is being pressured by clerics and majority population to pay fines on behalf of the more than 100 people booked for the attack. They have already paid fines for 11 key accused - an amount totalling Rs 30 lakh (around INR 12.5 lakh).

The attack took place on 30 December.

A crowd of what looked like thousands of men, led by clerics, arrived at the temple located in the village of Teri in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. They began to rip apart the temple’s bricks and then set it on fire.

Watch a video of the attack here:

There was reportedly no one inside the temple that time.

As per the reports, the temple was more than 100 years old. It was built in 1919. It was attacked in 1997 too but, after an order by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, it was renovated in 2015.

Though the temple always remained under threat from extremist Muslims, the trigger of the attack was reportedly the suspicion that the temple management was ‘expanding’ the premises. It was later revealed that the caretaker of the temple had built a room adjoining the temple to live in.

The police reportedly said that the mob had gathered promising a ‘peaceful’ protest, but incendiary speeches by clerics triggered them into vandalism and violence.

In a report published yesterday (22 November), Pakistan newspaper The Express Tribune has quoted “a Hindu leader” as saying that the Hindu community had to pay fines for 11 men including Jamait Ulemai-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) district Amir Maulana Mir Zaqeem, former district nazim Karak Rehmat Salam Khattak and Maulana Sharifullah.

A fine of Rs 268,000 per person has already been paid by the community.

All the 123 other accused are now demanding that the Hindu community pays their fines too, the Hindu leader told the newspaper. The district administration sent them notices on 26 October to pay fines.

The Hindu leader said that the local administrative head was not helping Hindus rebuild the temple, giving in to clerics who are creating hurdles in the temple’s reconstruction.

As per the report, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered Rs 30 million to be recovered from the accused.

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