A historical Hindu temple located at the bank of Indus River in Kotri was allegedly desecrated by unidentified people in the early hours of Thursday.
Law enforcement agencies personnel came to the scene soon after the news of the incident went viral on social media. An FIR of the incident was lodged at the Kotri police station against the unknown miscreants.
Local residents told The Express Tribune that unidentified person entered the temple premises and vandalised the statues of their deities after midnight.
The Hindu residents of Kotri have expressed grief and disgust over the continuous attacks on their sacred places in the province known for its values of tolerance and assimilation.
Sindh Minister for Minorities Affairs Giyan Chand Essarani reacting to the attack asked the law enforcing agencies to beef up the security around all the Hindu temples ahead of Diwali festival.
Sharing details of the incidents Dr Bhawan Kumar, a resident of the area told The Express Tribune that the unknown persons entered the temple premises where holy statues were placed in a glass frame. He said that the statues were disrespected and desecrated.
Dr Tekchand, another elder said the unknown person took away artificial jewellery and money from the temple. “This is not the first incident,” he pointed out. He said that same kind of incident was reported six months back another temple located in the same vicinity.
The Hindus said that there are three historical temples located at the Indus River bank, including Shiva Mandir, Hanoman Mandir and Devi Mata Jo Mandir.
“People from different areas visit these temples regularly,” Dr Kumar said. “These are pre-partition temples,” he added.
He informed that there were around 200 Hindu families living around these temples. “We all Muslims and Hindus are living side by side as brothers for centuries,” he said. “There is no issue but a few people want to create fissures among us,” he added. “It hurts us a lot when people disrespect our sacred places,” Dr Kumar commented.
“This incident created some uncomfortable situation for residents living around the temples,” Dr Tekchand said.
Taking notice of the incident, Essarani asked Jamshoro SSP and other officials to investigate the incident and deploy proper security for the visitors coming to temples ahead of Diwali.
Essarani said that the Hindu community was busy in preparation of their religious festival Diwali festival but the incident has dampened their spirits.
Not in name of Islam
Besides the political leadership of the country, the religious circles too are against excesses against the minorities. One of the top schools of Islamic learning, Jamia Binoria Al-Aalmia, (Binoria International University), had censured the desecration of a Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab earlier this year.
“The attack on Rahim Yar Khan Temple is condemnable. Islam does not allow harming the worship place of any religion,” said the varsity administrator Mufti Noman Naeem.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2021.