The Supreme Court has ordered the authorities to restore the Krishna Dwara temple in Karak’s Teri union council in two weeks. The temple was vandalised and set ablaze by hundreds of people on December 30. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Auqaf department have been directed to start the work immediately and submit a progress report in two weeks.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the people who vandalised the temple should pay for its restoration. The court has also asked for reports on the number of temples in Pakistan, encroachment on land belonging to the Auqaf department, and the steps taken by the authorities against land grabbing. The top judge took suo motu notice of the case a day after it was reported.
The one-man commission on the rights of minorities at the Supreme Court submitted Monday its report on the Karak temple vandalism. Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle prepared the report. The commission recommended a comprehensive investigation into the vandalism at the temple. The statements of all witnesses should be recorded and evidence gathered against the culprits.
Maulvi Sharif, the main suspect in the case, incited people to violence, the report said. The record of the temple land at the time of Partition should be looked into too and ensure that the record has not been tampered with.
The home department should take steps to stop the entry of ‘suspicious people’ inside the temple. Exemplary punishment should be handed out to suspects to prevent such incidents in the future, the report recommended.
The temple was attacked by hundreds of residents who set fire to the building. They surrounded and vandalised the temple for hours but the police were missing from the scene. The hundreds of residents, who attacked the temple, were led by cleric Maulana Muhammad Sharif, the police said.