Pakistan. Fresh attack on Hindu religious site, frenzied mob vandalizes temple

Rahim Yar Khan [Pakistan]Aug. 5 (ANI): A frenzied mob on Wednesday attacked a Hindu temple in the town of Bhong in Pakistan’s Rahim Yar Khan district.

Pakistani lawmaker and Hindu community leader Ramesh Kumar Vankwani shared videos of the incident. In one of the videos, the mob can be seen destroying the temple’s infrastructure. The mob vandalized the temple and smashed temple idols and structures.

In another video, the frenzied crowd was seen running down the road adjacent to the temple with sticks and rods. According to reports, the mob briefly blocked a nearby key road after attacking the temple. Ramesh Kumar later said in a video posted on Twitter that the situation had been brought under control. He said the initial slowness of the police response worsened the situation and the damage to the temple.

In recent years, there has been an upsurge in attacks on places of worship of religious minorities in Pakistan. The country has been repeatedly criticized by the international community for failing to protect the interests of its minorities.

Last year, in December, a mob of more than a hundred people led by local Muslim clerics destroyed and set fire to the temple in Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A video clip that went viral on social media showed a violent mob destroying the walls and roof of the temple.

A recent report by a minority rights commission in Pakistan revealed a “dismal” picture of the country’s most revered Hindu sites.

The report submitted to the country’s Supreme Court in April presents a “general picture of decay and obliteration” of two of Pakistan’s four most revered evacuation sites, Dawn reported.

The report says the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), a statutory board of the Pakistani government, has failed to maintain the ancient and sacred sites of the minority community.

Out of 365 temples, only 13 were run by them, leaving 65 to the Hindu community and “abandoning the rest of the temples”, Dawn reported, citing statutory board ETPB.

Pakistan has practiced discrimination against its religious minorities, manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murder, extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, rapes, forced conversions to Islam, etc., making Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis and Shiites one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.

The 2020 International Religious Freedom Report released by the United States earlier this year highlighted a downward spiral of religious expression in Pakistan, including in the form of blasphemy laws, the punishment of which can be up to death sentence. (ANI)

(This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed)