By Abdullah Zahid.
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the authorities to rebuild a century-old Hindu temple that was vandalized and set on fire by a mob last week, drawing condemnation from the government and leaders of minority Hindus.
The court ruled after authorities said they arrested more than 100 people for attacking the temple and several police officers were fired for neglecting to protect the structure.
During the court hearing, the chief justice remarked that the expenditures to restore the site should be received from the responsible persons and directed the KP government to recover the amount from Maulvi Sharif. “Unless they have to personally bear the cost of the rebuilding, they would continue carrying out such acts.”
Moreover, the three-member bench also directed the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) to remove encroachments and illegal construction on temple and gurdwara lands and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.
The temple’s destruction happened Dec 30 in Karak, a town in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Supporters of Pakistan’s radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party and residents attacked the building after being incited by a local cleric who was opposed to the temple’s planned renovation.