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Eight police officers suspended for attack on Pakistani temple, three days in police custody for accused

On Sunday, eight police officers were suspended for negligence in duty discharge after a mob attacked a Hindu temple led by members of an extremist Islamist group in Pakistan’s resistant Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Police say 100 people have been arrested so far in connection with the incident. Police said 45 people were arrested on Sunday.

A mob vandalized and set fire to a temple in Terry village in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last Wednesday in protest of the expansion work. More than 350 people have been named in the FIR filed along with the incident. Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Zaheer Shah said 100 people, including seven main accused, have been arrested in the case. At the same time, attempts are being made to arrest 3,350 people numbered in the FIR.

Prominent persons arrested were Maulana Amanullah, Maulana Imdadullah, Maulana Matiullah, Maulana Muhammad Hakim and Maulana Anwar Zaman. When the arrested accused were produced before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), the court remanded them in custody for three days. Karak District Police Officer Irfanullah Marwat on Sunday suspended eight policemen for negligence in performing their duties.

Permission was sought to restore the temple

The temple also had the tomb of a Hindu religious leader. The Hindu community sought permission from local authorities to renovate the decades-old building of the temple. A mob led by local Alem and Jamiat Ulamaye Islam-Party supporters (Fazal ur Rehman group) demolished the old structure and also demolished the new construction.

Human rights activists have condemned the attack

Human rights activists and leaders of the minority Hindu community have strongly condemned the attack on the temple. India has also protested to Pakistan over the temple vandalism and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. Sources in New Delhi on Friday said a protest against Pakistan had been reported through diplomatic channels.

The chief minister has promised to rebuild the temple

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmud Khan has assured that his government will soon rebuild the damaged temples and mausoleums. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has formed a four-member committee to determine the damage to the temple, according to a notification issued by the chief minister’s secretariat late Saturday night. The committee will also work out a plan for the reconstruction of the temple in consultation with the Hindu community. The committee has been asked to complete the work within 10 days.

The court ordered the authorities to appear

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered local authorities to appear on January 5 in connection with the incident. The court directed the one-member commission on minority rights, the chief secretary and the provincial inspector general of police to inspect the site and submit a report on January 4. The Hindu community is the largest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, .5.5 million Hindus live in Pakistan, but the community says there are more than 9 million Hindus living in the country. Most Hindus in Pakistan live in Sindh province. They often complain of harassment by extremists.

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