Supreme Court orders arrest of temple vandalizers

Wants formation of peace committees for creation of inter-faith harmony: Admonishes police and Punjab administration for poor performance 

By: News Desk      Published: 01:20 PM, 6 Aug, 2021
Supreme Court orders arrest of temple vandalizers
File photo.

The Supreme Court has ordered for the immediate arrest of the vandalizers of a temple in Rahim Yar Khan, directing the authorities to make the culprits bear the expenses of the repair and restoration of the ransacked place of worship of Hindus, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The apex court asked Punjab IG Police Inam Ghani if he had made any arrests in this connection, on which the IG replied in negative. The court ordered the IG police to arrest the vandalizers of the temple immediately and submit report in the next hearing. 

The court also ordered the formation of peace committees for the creation of inter-faith harmony. 

A two-member bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad heard the case on Friday.

Yesterday, CJP Gulzar Ahmad took suo motu notice of the ransacking of the temple.

On August 5, a video clip of a mob attacking a Hindu temple in the village Bhong of Rahim Yar Khan went viral on social media.

The apex court had summoned Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik and IG police Inam Ghani to the court and directed them to bring report of the incident along with them. The court also summoned Pakistan Hindu Council leader Dr Ramesh Kumar. 

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Chief Justice Gulzar showed his resentment over the performance of Chief Secretary and IG police. He wondered if there was any professional in the Punjab police department. Police arrested an eight-year-old boy on the charge of blasphemy, he fumed. He said how come a child knew who was Hindu and who was Muslim?

The CJP asked what the police and administration were doing when a mob attacked the temple. Police became a spectator only and did not take any action. He said three days had gone by, but not a single arrest had been made so far. 

He asked the police and chief secretary to empathize with the Hindus whose temple had been razed. He said if a mosque were razed what would have been the reaction of the Muslims. 

Justice Qazi Amin said that police were failed to discharge their duty. He said that after a few days, police themselves would broker a settlement deal between the two parties and arrange for the bail of the accused. He said that the temple must be repaired on government expenses. 

Justice Gulzar remarked if the commissioner, deputy commissioner and DPO could not work, then they should be removed from their jobs. 

The Punjab IGP told the court that the assistant commissioner and assistant superintendent of police were present on the occasion. He further informed that the first priority of the administration was to provide protection to the 70 houses of the Hindu community which situated near the temple

IG Ghani told the court that terrorism sections were inserted while filing the case. 

CJP Gulzar said the incident was occurred because of the mistake of an 8-year-old boy. The incident has tarnished Pakistan’s image all over the world, he remarked. 

Additional Attorney General Suhail Mehmood said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had also taken notice of the incident. 

On this, the CJP remarked that the premier should look after his state affairs while we would look after the legal affairs.

The court adjourned the case till Aug 13.

NA passes resolution condemning temple vandalizing 

A resolution condemning the vandalizing of a Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan was passed unanimously in the National Assembly on Friday. 

The resolution was moved by MNA Ali Muhammad Khan. 

The draft of the resolution stated that the house condemned the ransacking of the temple and showed solidarity with all the minorities of the country. 

Reporter Amanat Gishkori