A Hindu temple that was vandalised by a mob in Rahim Yar Khan district last week as a reaction to the alleged desecration of a Muslim seminary has been completely restored, the Pakistan government said on Monday, Dawn reported.
On August 4, hundreds of people descended on the temple in Bhong town, around 590 km from Lahore. The mob smashed temple windows, doors and idols with sticks and stones. The attack took place after after a local court granted bail to a nine-year-old Hindu boy who had allegedly urinated in the library of the seminary in June.
On Monday, the district’s Deputy Commissioner Khuram Shehzad said the temple has been handed over back to the Hindu community. He added that the restoration of the idols damaged during the incident would also be completed soon.
The entire cost of the temple’s renovation would be recovered from those involved in the attack, Shehzad said.
The police have filed a first information report under terrorism and other sections of the Pakistan Penal Code against more than 150 people in the case, according to PTI. District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz said that a total of 90 suspects have been arrested and investigation was underway.
Meanwhile, the nine-year-old boy accused of urinating in the seminary is currently in protective custody after becoming the youngest person ever in Pakistan to be charged with blasphemy, The Guardian reported. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.
On August 5, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had condemned the attack and promised that the government would restore the temple.
On the same day, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said that attacks on temples and gurudwaras in Pakistan were occurring at an alarming rate. “The state and security institutions in Pakistan have stood by idly and completely failed in preventing these attacks on minority communities and their places of worship,” Bagchi told reporters.
On August 6, Pakistan’s Supreme Court had also ordered the immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the incident.