Remove encroachments from temples, gurdwaras, SC orders ETPB

By: News Desk      Published: 12:39 PM, 5 Jan, 2021
Remove encroachments from temples, gurdwaras, SC orders ETPB

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing in the suo motu case regarding Hindu temple burning for an indefinite time period, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

The apex court had taken suo motu notice of the incident that had taken place in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the other day. 

Before adjourning the hearing, the court ordered the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to submit a report on the Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras situated across the country.  

The court also ordered the removal of encroachments from lands reserved for temples and gurdwaras.

The court also directed the ETPB of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to consult with the minorities’ commission for the purpose.  

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) KP informed the SC that 92 on-duty police officials, including the SP and DSP, had been suspended following the incident while 109 people had also been taken into custody. 

He disclosed that the mob which had set the temple on fire had the backing of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief while of all the ulemas who were gathered at the site, only Maulvi Sharif had incited the mob to violence. 

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) opined that merely suspending the negligent police officials was not enough since the incident had brought a bad name to the country the world over.

Justice Ijazul Hassan, in his remarks, said that pictures and footages of the incident went viral on the social media, thus tarnishing the country’s image.       

An angry mob on Wednesday last had attacked and set ablaze the shrine of a Hindu saint in the Karak district.

According to police officials, as soon as the incident was reported, police personnel reached the site and dispersed the mob.

A mob comprising "more than a thousand people", led by local elders of a religious party, launched the attack to remove the temple.

Video clips going viral on social media show hordes of people breaking and desecrating the site while chanting slogans. Smoke could also be seen emitting from the shrine after it was set on fire.

Following the incident, the District Police Officer of Karak had said that area residents had called for a protest, guaranteeing it would be peaceful, but a local cleric instigated the crowd to resort to violence.

Area residents, according to the DPO, reported that the shrine was being "secretly expanded" which angered them.