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Pakistan: Karachi mayor rejects demolition reports of 150-year-old Hindu temple, says 'mandir still intact'

Siddiqui asserted that no one would be allowed to construct or demolish any structure of a worship place belonging to any minority community.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Karachi Updated on: July 17, 2023 14:28 IST
Several pictures and videos emerged on social media
Image Source : PTI Several pictures and videos emerged on social media depicting the demolition

After reports emerged that a 150-year-old Hindu temple in Pakistan's Karachi was razed to the ground by bulldozers, Karachi mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui refuted the reports, saying that the temple was intact and true facts are being ascertained.

Siddiqui took to Twitter on Sunday to share a couple of pictures of the Hindu worship place. He asserted that no demolition had taken place, despite several pictures and videos on social media depicting a demolition drive at the site of the temple.

"Have checked. No such demolition of the Mandir has taken place & Mandir is still intact. Administration has intervened & Hindu Panchayat has been asked to assist police in ascertaining the true facts. Will keep everyone posted on this. PPP stands with people of all communities," he tweeted.

He also said that no one would be allowed to construct or demolish any structure of a worship place belonging to any of the religious minority communities in Pakistan, Dawn reported.

Demolition allegedly carried out without notice

The demolition of the Mari Mata Temple in Karachi’s Soldier Bazar sent shock waves through the Hindu community there. The demolition drive was carried out in the presence of a heavy contingent of police force late on Friday night after the structure was declared old and dangerous. 

The people alleged that they were not informed about the demolition of the temple. “They (authorities) did it very early in the morning and we were not informed this was going to happen,” said Ram Nath Mishra Maharaj, who looks after old Hindu temples in the area.

Furthermore, the Hindu community alleged that the property was sold to a builder through alleged fake documents by Imran Hashmi and Rekha Bai. They also claimed that the builder wanted to construct a commercial building at the place of the temple.

While not confirming the demolition reports, an official said that no more demolition or construction work is going on at the site and the police have been working with the Madrasi Hindu community of Karachi for many decades in managing the temple.

"The police would check records, determine the facts and countercheck the claims of both sides," he added. 

Countering the allegations, he said that the Madrasi Hindu community had agreed the structure was very old and dangerous. Moreover, he said that the management of the temple reluctantly but temporarily moved most of the deities to a small room until they could carry out some renovation work there.

Another temple destroyed in Sindh

Such attacks on Hindu temples are not uncommon in Pakistan. The Hindu community has appealed to the Pakistan-Hindu Council, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and the Inspector General of Sindh police to take notice and look into the matter on an urgent basis.

A similar incident was reported from Sindh, a gang of dacoits attacked a Hindu worship site with “rocket launchers” in Sindh’s Kashmore during the early hours of Sunday.

The assailants attacked a place of worship and adjoining homes belonging to the community in the jurisdiction of Ghouspur police station.

ALSO READ | Pakistan: 'Dacoits' use rocket launchers to attack Hindu temple in Sindh a day after Karachi temple razed

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