Lord Hanuman temple torched in Pakistan
A Hanuman temple in Tando Mohammad Khan town in Pakistan was torched in the early hours on Friday. Tando Mohammad Khan is a small town which is located 40 kilometres away from Hyderabad Sindh. The incident has sparked protests by enraged Hindu community and Nationalist parties.
It is believed that hundreds of angry Pakistanis attacked the temple and set it on fire following a rumour that a member of the Hindu community had desecrated the Quran. The incident took place just before midnight on Saturday after locals in Larkana district alleged that Sangeet Kumar, 42, had torn out pages of Islam’s holy book and tossed them down on the street from the roof of his home.
Patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has strongly condemned the torching of Hanuman Mandir. Pakistan Hindu Council, in a statement issued on Saturday, requested the government for the provision of security of Hindu worship places at national level.
Around 1,400 Hindus religious sites across the country are in dire need of protection by the government, the representative body of Hindus said on Saturday, while condemning the attack on a temple in a town in Sindh.
Meanwhile, activists of several nationalist parties and members of the Hindu community staged protests, demanding protection for the Hindu community and arrest of culprits.
They said that such incidents were aimed at harassing Hindus and scaring them into migrating from Sindh.
In a similar arson attack on March 28 this year, a small temple was torched near Fateh Chowk in Hyderabad, triggering widespread protests by the Hindu community.
Dr Ramesh a leader of the Pakistan Hindu Council, also regretted the burning of Hindu holy books Geeta and Ramayan in Shikarpur district of Sindh in March this year. Such incidents could be avoided, if the Supreme Court orders regarding protection of minorities were implemented, he said. He further questioned that why innocent minorities were left at the mercy of extremists.
Sindh province, where the attack took place, is home to most of Pakistan’s small Hindu community which numbers about two million among a population of about 180 million.
Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighbouring India, a predominantly Hindu country, has fed tension between the two communities in smaller towns but outright acts of violence are rare.
Police said they were investigating the matter.
– Sharanya Bharathwaj