Hundreds of Muslims attacked and set hearth to a Hindu temple in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, police and witnesses mentioned.
Videos circulating on social media confirmed males utilizing hammers to wreck the temple partitions as thick gray smoke rose up from the positioning.
The incident passed off in a distant village in Karak district, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
“A charged mob of some 1,000 to 1,200 people were incited by the local Muslim clerics to destroy the Hindu temple,” district police chief Irfanullah Khan advised AFP.
Discrimination and violence towards non secular minorities is commonplace in Pakistan, the place Muslims make up 97 p.c of the inhabitants and Hindus simply round two p.c.
Earlier this month, the United States positioned Pakistan on an inventory of “countries of particular concern” for non secular freedom violations.
Khan mentioned resentment in the direction of the temple, which was not in common use, has been brewing for years, notably after latest renovation work was carried out.
“The police have registered a case against some 20 people and with the help of videos, we will trace more culprits,” Khan added.
Kamran Bangash, the provincial info minister, additionally confirmed the assault and the veracity of the movies seen on social media to AFP.
“We believe in freedom of religion and those who were involved will not be spared,” Bangash mentioned.
Local resident Sulaman Khattak advised AFP that the gang marched in the direction of the temple after they have been addressed by clerics.
“They were prepared, some were carrying hammers and jerry cans of oil with them”, Khattak advised AFP.
Pakistan human rights minister Shireen Mazari mentioned the federal government has a accountability to “ensure safety & security of all our citizens & their places of worship”.
“This is not the first incident of its kind, unfortunately intolerance towards religious minorities has been growing in Pakistan for the last five years, with more frequent attacks on places of worship,” mentioned Hindu rights activist Kapil Dev.
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