In a distressing series of events, two Hindu temples were brutally attacked and destroyed within a span of 24 hours in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. These acts of violence have once again shed light on the longstanding issue of intolerance and persecution faced by minority communities in the country.
The first incident took place on July 14th in the Soldier Bazaar police station area of Karachi. The 150-year-old Mari Mata Temple was reduced to rubble overnight, leaving the Hindu community in shock. Locals reported that the demolition occurred under the cover of darkness, with the perpetrators using bulldozers to bring down the internal structure while the outer walls and the main gate remained untouched. Disturbingly, eyewitnesses claimed that a police mobile was present at the scene, providing cover to those involved in the destructive act.
Ram Nath Mishra, the priest of a nearby Hindu temple, expressed his grief over the loss. He mentioned that the vandalized temple had been targeted by land grabbers for some time, with rumors circulating about buried treasures within its courtyard. The Madrasi Hindu community, which managed the temple, had faced pressure to vacate the property. After some negotiation, the authorities had allowed them to move their deities to a smaller room nearby for safety. However, despite these efforts, the temple was mercilessly flattened in the recent attack, raising suspicions that it was orchestrated to seize the property unlawfully.
While the Sindh government disputed the Hindu community’s claims regarding the temple’s demolition, they did order the cessation of any further construction or demolition at the site. Unfortunately, before the dust could settle on this tragic incident, another Hindu temple in Sindh’s Kashmore area fell victim to an attack.
A gang of dacoits stormed the temple and nearby houses belonging to the Hindu community, firing indiscriminately with the apparent intent to cause harm to life and property. The temple, which was closed at the time of the attack, was an annual place of worship for the Bagri community. It was fortunate that no lives were lost when the gunmen tried to destroy the temple using rocket launchers, which fortunately failed to detonate.
This second attack followed threats issued by dacoits in the Kashmore and Ghotki riverine areas against Hindu places of worship and community members in response to a controversial case involving Seema Haider, a Pakistani woman who had reportedly fallen in love with an Indian Hindu man while playing the mobile game PUBG. The incident, which led to her illegal border crossing and eventual arrest, has no direct connection to the Bagri Hindu community targeted in this recent attack.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has strongly condemned the violence and expressed alarm at the deteriorating law and order situation in Kashmore and Ghotki districts. According to their reports, around 30 members of the Hindu community, including women and children, have been allegedly held hostage by organized criminal gangs.
Shiva Kacchi, head of the Pakistan Derawar Ittehad organization, has pleaded with the government to take swift and decisive action against the dacoits involved. Kacchi emphasized that these live video threats must not be taken lightly, as the safety and well-being of the Hindu community and their places of worship are at stake. The recent attacks on Hindu temples in Pakistan have sparked outrage both domestically and internationally.
They highlight the urgent need for comprehensive measures to protect religious minorities and ensure peace and harmony within the nation. Tolerance, respect, and coexistence among different communities are essential for a vibrant and united Pakistan. It is crucial that authorities address the underlying issues of intolerance and bigotry to foster an inclusive and prosperous society for all its citizens.