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Photos: 100-year-old temple demolished in Pakistan, Hindus fume

Last updated on: December 3, 2012 11:33 IST

Photos: 100-year-old temple demolished in Pakistan, Hindus fume

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Tahir Ali in Karachi

While Hindus are complaining about the violation of their rights in Pakistan's rural Sindh, they received a harsh blow in Karachi when a pre-Partition temple was demolished by a builder despite a Pakistani court hearing a petition seeking a stay on such a move. 

On Saturday, a private builder demolished the century-old Shri Rama Pir Mandir and some adjoining houses at Soldier Bazaar in Karachi. According to the builder, the land where the temple was constructed had been encroached upon.

Nearly 40 people, a majority of them Hindus, became homeless as a result, The Express Tribune reported.

For the 150 Hindus residing in the area, the temple was the only place of worship in the neighbourhood. According to locals, the builder's men not only destroyed the Shri Rama Pir Mandir but also "humiliated their gods".

However, the police denied that there was any temple in the area. Police officer Pervaiz Iqbal said, "There was no temple. There were idols of Hindu gods present inside a few houses and we made sure that they were safe."

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Image: The site of the temple which was demolished by a builder in Pakistan


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100-year-old temple demolished in Pak, Hindus fume

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Local Hindus alleged that while the idols were kept aside, the demolishers made away with gold jewellery and crowns that adorned the statues.

Talking to rediff.com, Sarab Dayal, a Pakistani Hindu rights activist, said, "Even if the land was encroached upon the mandir should not have been demolished; it is an act of blasphemy."

He further said the locals were not given a chance to evacuate their houses and remove valuables before the demolition. "The case was already in court; the Supreme Court should take notice of this," Saraab demanded.

Angered by the demolition, the Hindus demanded that the government should arrange tickets to India for them. "If you don't want us, we will go to India," said a woman.

Another man said the temple was "as sacred to us as your mosque is to you."

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Image: A bulldozer razes the temple in Karachi
Photographs: TV grab

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100-year-old temple demolished in Pak, Hindus fume

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The demolition triggered protests by the minority community, who demanded that the government should take action against the builder. 

Reacting to the protests, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday took notice of the incident and called for a report from the concerned authorities in this regard.

Zardari's spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the president had expressed concern over the report and directed authorities to look into the matter so as to ensure that no discrimination was made against any community.

He said the president reiterated the commitment of the government to continue safeguarding the rights of the minorities as enshrined in the constitution of the country.

With inputs from PTI


Image: Hindus protest against demolition of the temple in Karachi
Photographs: TV grab

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