India has lodged a protest with Pakistan over the demolition of a Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district earlier this week. “The matter was taken up officially with the Pakistani side and a strong protest was lodged,” a source said. Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s samadhi together with the Krishna Dwara Mandir in Teri village in the northwestern city of Karak was vandalised on Wednesday by a mob.
The mob claimed that the temple had encroached on extra land and set it on fire. Some 25 people have been in connection with the incident in overnight raids. About 1,500 people had reportedly participated in the attack on the temple. The arrests came after the country’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed took suo motu notice of the attack.
The issue was raised with him by minority lawmaker Ramesh Kumar. The country’s Supreme Court will hear the case on 5 January. Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri called the attack on the temple “a conspiracy against sectarian harmony”. Hindus in Pakistan took out rallies to demand the rebuilding of the place of worship.
The temple was first attacked and demolished in 1997 and the local community had agreed to its reconstruction after the intervention by the Supreme Court in 2015. There was a dispute over the land allocated to the temple during its reconstruction, leading to some misunderstanding between temple supporters and local clerics.