Pakistan : Another attack on Hindu religious site, frenzied mob vandalizes temple

Rahim Yar Khan [Pakistan], August 5 : A frenetic mob attacked a Hindu temple in Bhong city in Rahim Yar Khan district of Pakistan on Wednesday.
Pakistani lawmaker and Hindu community leader Ramesh Kumar Vankwani shared videos of the incident. In one of the videos, the mob can be seen destroying the infrastructure of the temple. The mob vandalised the temple and broke idols and temple structures.
In another video, the frenzied mob was seen running on the road adjacent to the temple carrying sticks and rods. According to reports, the mob briefly blocked a key road nearby after attacking the temple.
Ramesh Kumar later said in a video posting on Twitter that the situation has been brought under control. He said the initial slow response from the police had made the situation and the damage to the temple worse.
In recent years, there has been a surge in attacks on the place of worship of religious minorities in Pakistan. The country has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not safeguarding the interest of its minorities.
Last year in December, a mob of over a hundred people led by local Muslim clerics had destroyed and set on fire the temple in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A video clip that went viral on social media showed a violent mob destroying the walls and roof of the temple.
A recent report by a minorities’ rights commission in Pakistan has revealed a “dismal” picture of the most revered Hindu sites in the country.
The report submitted to the country’s Supreme Court in April presents a “general picture of decay and obliteration” of two of the four most revered evacuee sites in Pakistan, Dawn reported.
The report states that the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), a statutory board of the Pakistan government, has failed to maintain ancient and holy sites of the minority community.
Out of 365 temples, only 13 were being managed by them, leaving 65 with the Hindu community, and “abandoning the rest of temples,” Dawn reported, citing the statutory board ETPB.
Pakistan has been discriminating against its religious minorities, which is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc., making the Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas, and Shias one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.
The 2020 report International Religious Freedom released by the United States earlier this year highlighted a downward spiral of religious expression in Pakistan, most notably in the form of blasphemy laws, punishment for which ranges up to the death penalty.

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