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Pakistan

Another Hindu temple desecrated in Pakistan

Vandals attack place of worship as Hindus celebrate Navrati festival in Sindh province

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Another Hindu temple desecrated in Pakistan

Assailants smashed the head of one of the idols in the Hindu temple with a sledgehammer. (Photo supplied)

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Another temple has been attacked in Pakistan, this time by a group of men as Hindus celebrated a festival in Sindh province.

The raid was reported on Oct. 23 night after the community finished Navratri (nine nights festival) prayers in Tharparkar's Nagarparkar subdistrict. According to police, the assailants smashed the head of one idol with a sledgehammer.

Khemchand Kolhi, a suspect, was arrested on the directives of senior superintendent of police (SSP) Tharparkar Hassan Sardar Niazi. He confessed to taking money and valuables from the temple.

Poonjo Bheel, special assistant to the chief minister of Sindh, condemned the attack.

“Sad to learn about the vandalizing the temple in Tharparkar's Nagarparkar. Have spoken to SSP to inquire into the matter instantly as the #Tharparkar is the land of love, peace and harmony where such acts will damage exemplary coexistence,” he said in an Oct. 24 tweet.

On Oct. 10, police arrested Ismail Sheedi, a Muslim, in connection with an attack on a Hindu temple in Kario Ghanwar in Badin district.

Ramesh Kumar Gupta, a Hindu lawyer based in Hyderabad city in Sindh province, blamed a weak justice system for the recent attacks on temples.

"The perpetrators know they will be ultimately released by courts. The Hindu minority know they are weak and their protests won’t result in a strong reaction from society. The law is broken by activists of either political parties or local Wadera [feudalism] culture," he told UCA News.    

Minorities in Pakistan, a social media group, condemned the latest attack in a statement.

“Navratri celebrations, festivities and rituals performance and observance are still ongoing. It’s shameful and pathetic to see a few extremists didn't let it end on a positive note. They vandalized Mata sculptures in Nagarparkar Sindh,” it stated.

“Pakistan belongs to everyone. Pakistan is for all. Accept this. Such disturbing and horrendous acts only bring a bad name and shame to our country. For God’s sake, stop hurting people belonging to a different faith than yours.” 

In January, Mata Deval Bhittani temple in Tharkarkar district of Sindh province was desecrated. Police later identified the suspects as young Muslim boys. 

In July, the Capital Development Authority stopped construction of the boundary wall on the plot meant for the first Hindu temple in Islamabad, the federal capital.

In 2014, more than eight temples were desecrated in Hyderabad and other areas of rural Sindh province.

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