Arson attack on Hindu temple in Hyderabad triggers protest

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Sea Eagle, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Sea Eagle

    Sea Eagle Senior Member Senior Member

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    Arson attack on Hindu temple in Hyderabad triggers protest

    HYDERABAD: A Hindu deity statue was broken and a small temple was partially damaged in early Friday morning arson attack near Fateh Chowk on Tando Mohammad Khan Road, sowing the feeling of insecurity among the religious minority community and triggering street protests.

    Only a couple of weeks ago, a Dharamshala was set ablaze and some statues of Hindu deities in an adjacent temple in Larkana were damaged in protest against alleged desecration of the Quran.

    The recent arson attacks on worship places are seen as an attempt to fan flames of communal violence in Sindh.

    There are one big and two small temples — Kalimata Mandir, Shiv Bhulai Nath and Hanuman — on Tando Mohammad Khan Road near Fateh Chowk where around 3,000 people from the religious minority community lived, mostly in small houses in the vicinity of the large Kalimata Mandir.

    According to residents, it was around five o’clock in the morning when four persons travelling in a car arrived at Hanuman Mandir. Three of them got out of the car and entered the temple. They broke the deity of Hanuman and sprinkled petrol all over the place before setting it on fire. A child, Darshan Kumar, who resisted the move, was pushed away at gunpoint, said Laxman Kumar, Mohan Lal Rathore and other residents.

    While the arsonists fled, a hue and cry by the child drew the attention of the residents who rushed out of their homes and extinguished the fire. However, by then they said the temple was partially damaged.

    Soon after the incident, the residents converged on the main road where they staged a sit-in in protest against the attack on the temple.

    They also burnt tyres and junk on the main road leading to Tando Mohammad Khan blocking traffic for some hours. The law-enforcement agencies reached the area and convinced the protesters to call off their sit-in. The protesters, who were also joined by representatives of the Sindh National Party, condemned the attack on the place of worship. They also raised slogans against the authorities concerned which failed to ensure protection of the religious places of the minority community.

    Speaking to Dawn outside the temple, Kalimata Mandar Committee chairman Mohan Lal Rathore and SNP chief Ashraf Noonari demanded that the government ensure protection of the lives and properties of Hindus who felt insecure. They condemned the incident and said that some people wanted to fan flames of communal violence in Sindh by carrying out such arson attacks on religious places.

    FIR registered

    An FIR (36/2104) was lodged on a complaint of Kirshan Kumar Meghwar, chairman of the Kali Mata Sheva Mandli Committee, under Sections 6/7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs), 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code against three unidentified persons at the SITE police station.

    Hyderabad DIG Dr Sanaullah Abbasi suspended Site SHO Abdullah Bhutto and transferred him to Sujawal district. He also recommended the suspension of Site DSP Sikandar Ali Korai to the police chief.

    Dr Abbasi said that he beefed up security around 154 temples in the Hyderabad police range, including 34 Hindu temples in Hyderabad district only.

    The DIG said he met a delegation of Hindu people and assured them of security and protection of their properties and lives. He suggested to the delegation to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on temples.

    He said that police were investigating various aspects including minority, internally displaces persons (IDPs), local, national and economic interest of people.

    Meanwhile, Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Nawaz Soho assured a delegation of Hindu people, who called on him in the evening, that every possible effort would be made to avert such incidents in the future and ensure protection of the holy places of all religious minorities.

    Human Rights Commission of Pakistan representative in Hyderabad Dr Ashothama said that Hindu religious places and properties were being attacked one after another. He said that there was unrest and a feeling of insecurity prevailing in the community.

    He suspected that both religious fanatics and land grabbers could be involved in such crimes. Religious extremists were destroying peace and harmony and the secular status which Sindh was famous for across the world, said rights activist and writer Zulfiqar Halepoto.He appealed to the government to check an influx of internally displaced persons from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa into Sindh.

    Arson attack on Hindu temple in Hyderabad triggers protest - DAWN.COM
     
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  3. Sea Eagle

    Sea Eagle Senior Member Senior Member

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    Blasphemy: Christian sentenced to death in Joseph Colony case

    LAHORE: A court in Pakistan sentenced a Christian man to death for blasphemy Thursday, his lawyer said, over an incident that triggered a riot in the country's second-largest city.

    Sawan Masih was convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during the course of a conversation with a Muslim friend in the Joseph Colony neighbourhood of Lahore in March last year.

    More than 3,000 Muslims rampaged through Joseph Colony, torching some 100 Christian homes, after the allegations against Masih emerged.

    Naeem Shakir, one of Masih's lawyers, told AFP: “The judge has announced the death sentence for Sawan Masih.

    “We will appeal the sentence in the Lahore High Court.”Verdict and sentence were announced inside the jail where Masih was held, Shakir said.

    The country has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by court martial.

    Pakistan has extremely strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes.

    Masih has maintained his innocence and argued the real reason for the blasphemy allegation was a property dispute between him and his friend.

    No one was killed in the rampage through Joseph Colony last year but the incident highlighted the sensitivity of blasphemy in Pakistan.

    Some 97 per cent of the 180 million population are Muslim, and even unproven allegations can trigger a violent public response.

    Earlier this month an angry mob set fire to a Hindu temple in the southern city of Larkana over the alleged desecration of a Quran.

    A recent report from a US government advisory panel said Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country in the world, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for insulting Islam.

    In January an elderly Briton was sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy, though his lawyers said the court had failed to consider “overwhelming” evidence of his mental illness.

    No minority is safe in Pakistan :tsk:
     

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