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Hindu community leader demands protection for temple in northwest Pakistan

·2-min read

Peshawar, Jan 17 (PTI) A leader of the minority Hindu community in Pakistan on Sunday demanded protection for a temple in Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province fearing an attack on the place of worship by some mischievous elements who wanted to occupy its land.

Hindu community leader Haroon Sarab Dayal said the temple in Havelian city is an old structure and now the land mafia is out to destroy this heritage.

'A handful of mischievous elements wanted to occupy the temple land in Havelian city to spread anarchy in the country,' he told the media here.

Dayal said that the matter is not restricted to Havelian city temple. There are scores of other temples, dharma shalas, paat shalas, Gattu shalas, Anat Ashram, cremation grounds, satsung hall, gurdwaras and other worship places across Pakistan which needed to be protected and preserved, he added.

'We demand from the government to ensure protection to minorities places to avoid Terri like incident,' he added.

In December, a temple in Terri village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district was attacked by a mob after members of the Hindu community received permission from local authorities to renovate its decades-old building. The mob had demolished the newly constructed work alongside the old structure.

The attack on the temple in Terri village by members of radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party (Fazal ur Rehman group) drew strong condemnation from human rights activists and the minority Hindu community leaders, prompting the Supreme Court to order its reconstruction.

Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.

According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.

The majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by the extremists. PTI AYZ ZH ZH