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Pakistan: Temple restoration

Thursday 12 August 2021, by siawi3

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1640025/temple-restoration

Temple restoration

Editorial

Published August 11, 2021 - Updated about 17 hours ago

QUICK and efficient action by the Rahim Yar Khan district administration not only prevented a bad situation from getting worse, it also provided hope to the beleaguered Hindu community that has reason to feel threatened. The district administration succeeded in restoring a temple in the village of Bhong last week to its original state and handing it back to the Hindu community.

The temple had been vandalised by an enraged mob last Wednesday after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, said to be mentally challenged, had relieved himself inside a seminary. According to the Rahim Yar Khan deputy commissioner, a boundary wall will also be constructed around the temple for security. The cost for the security of the temple and building the boundary wall will be recovered from those responsible for damaging the temple, he said. Work on the restoration of the idols will take around two months. A detailed security plan is also said to be in the works and the Hindu families who have left the area out of fear will be called back after proper security clearance.

Editorial: Minorities’ plight

Given the strong feeling of fear and insecurity that grips Pakistan’s religious minorities, it was encouraging to see the authorities crack down so promptly on the perpetrators and repair the damage to the temple.

Different local courts have so far sent about 100 suspects to jail on judicial remand. These included 14 people who were presented in court by police officials on a Sunday, despite the day being a holiday. This kind of action by police and the courts has not been seen very often.

Usually, the bureaucracy and police, and even senior political leaders including those in government, are intimidated by the power that far right religious forces wield in the country. The Rahim Yar Khan district administration deserves to be commended for refusing to be cowed and for taking quick action which should serve as an example to other local administrations, and motivate government leaders to do more to protect minority rights.