A pre-partition Hanuman Mandir in Pakistan’s Lyari district was demolished by a builder on Monday. The next day, the narrow thoroughfare on Fida Hussain Sheikh Road in Lyari where the temple stood until Monday was flooded by dozens of Hindu families after they heard that the Hanuman Mandir had been razed the previous evening. The Karachi Police sealed the construction site after the temple was razed, reports a Pakistan daily, The Express Tribune.
According to the report, Lyari’s assistant commissioner Abdul Karim Memon who reached the site with the police informed that a probe has been initiated and the site, where a residential building is to be erected, has been sealed so that an inquiry can be conducted.
A resident Hindu named Heera Lal, while speaking to the media, expressed grief as well as his anger as he informed that the Hindus in the area had been given assurance by the builder that the temple will not be harmed. The resident, who was one amongst the 18 Hindu families living near the temple, added that the demolition had taken place late on Sunday evening.
Builder took advantage of the lockdown in Pakistan to raze the Hanuman temple
Another onlooker Mohammad Irshad Baloch said: “It is an injustice as a place of worship has been destroyed. It was an old temple. We have been seeing it since we were children.”
A resident who opined that the builder had taken advantage of the lockdown said: “No one was allowed to visit the temple during the lockdown. The builder exploited the situation and demolished our place of worship while we could not visit it, lamented one Harish while demanding that the temple be restored immediately.
He, too, claimed the builder had promised the area’s Hindu residents that the temple would not be demolished, adding that all the families living around it were even assured of alternative housing.
Similarly several Hindus living in the area, who collected near the temple site, after the news of the demolition spread, voiced their disappointment as well as their acrimony on their place of worship being destroyed.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Mohan Lal, a Hindu activist, accused the builder of threatening members of the minority community who had assembled at the site and highlighted the temple’s demolition.
“We tried to enter the temple but were denied entry by the builder,” he narrated, adding that the man had deceived the residents living there. “We will not allow anyone to demolish our places of worship in this manner,” he added.
According to the report, the builder could not be reached for his comment on the matter.
Hardline Islamists impeded construction of Sri Krishna temple in Islamabad
Last month, the construction of a new Sri Krishna temple in Islamabad was halted after radical extremists razed the boundary wall of the temple to the ground. Videos of radical extremist dismantling the temporary boundary wall and speaking to the camera in an agitated manner had gone viral on social media.
The hardline-radical Islamists in Pakistan had earlier opposed the construction of Hindu temple in Pakistan claiming that it was contrary to the idea of Pakistan, which is Islam. Terming it to be against Pakistan’s ideologies, the Islamic fundamentalists had attacked the Imran Khan government for granting funds to the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad. The Islamic leaders claimed that building a temple on the taxes of Muslims could not be tolerated in Pakistan.