Pakistan: Hundred-year-old Hindu temple attacked in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Islamabad: A 100-year-old Hindu temple undergoing renovation in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi has been attacked by a group of unidentified people, according to a complaint registered by the police.

The incident occurred at Purana Qila area of the city, on Saturday, when 10 to 15 people stormed the temple at about 7.30 pm and damaged the main door and another door at the upper storey and the staircase too, according to a complaint made to police.

Dawn newspaper reported that the security officer of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Northern Zone, Syed Raza Abbas Zaidi, lodged an FIR at Banni police station of Rawalpindi, saying that the construction and renovation work on the temple had been going on for the last one month.

He said there were some encroachments in front of the temple, which were removed on March 24.

However, religious rites have not been started in the temple, nor were there any idol or any other worship item.

He sought legal action against the people who had caused damage to the temple and its sanctity.

Earlier, the encroachment mafia had occupied the surroundings of the temple for a long time by making shops and kiosks.

The district administration assisted by the police recently removed all encroachments. After the temple was cleared of encroachments, renovation work was started.

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Meanwhile, the administrator of the temple, Om Prakash, confirmed the incident and said that as soon as the information was received, Rawalpindi police personnel reached the spot and brought the situation under control.

Prakash said that police had been deployed at his house as well as at the temple for security. He, however, said that Holi celebrations will not be held at the temple, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan.

Attacks on minorities are common in Pakistan. Last year in December, a revered Hindu shrine was attacked and damaged by a mob in the Karak district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

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