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SC seeks timeframe for rebuilding Hindu shrine in Karak

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has sought timeframe from the relevant authorities to rebuild Hindu shrine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak which was damaged in a tragic incident of vandalism on December 30 last year, ARY News reported on Monday.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the suo motu notice over the tragic incident of vandalism at the shrine of a Hindu saint in KP’s Karak district.

A Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and Patron in Chief Pakistan Hindu Council, Ramesh Kumar told the court that the reconstruction work of Samadhi was not started so far.

During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that the compensation money was not received from the responsible persons in Karak incident. Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the reconstruction work of the Hindu shrine should be started immediately.

Read: SC orders authorities to start rebuilding Hindu shrine in two weeks

KP’s Additional Attorney General (AAG) told the apex court that the provincial government allocated Rs34.8 million to rebuild the Samadhi. CJP remarked that 119 persons had been arrested over their involved in the Karak incident.

Justice Ahsan said that nobody would think about doing such a thing ever if compensation money is retrieved from the responsible persons.

CJP said that all properties of ETPB have been given on lease, whereas, some of the properties were permanently given on lease. AAG told the court that 14 properties of ETPB are currently occupied.

The chief justice maintained that ETPB properties could not be given to anyone. He questioned how ETPB would establish housing societies on its land. AAG said that geo-tagging of all properties is a positive aspect.

Read: Karak incident: Pakistan rejects unwarranted assertions by Indian MEA

CJP Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that many multi-storey plazas had been demolished in Karachi over the directives of the Supreme Court (SC) which also include properties of ETPB.

The chairman of minorities’ commission Shoaib Suddle argued that ETPB does not cooperate with the one-member commission. To this, the chief justice remarked that ETPB chairman will be summoned here if it is a matter of non-cooperation.

Later, the top court summoned the chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in the next hearing besides seeking timeframe for rebuilding the Samadhi.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, told the court that Commissioner Multan was not taking responsibility of security of Multan temple. Dr Kumar said that the commissioner expressed security risks if the Holi festival is going to be organised there.

Read: Hindu temple vandalism: 300 incl JUI-F cleric booked after CJP’s notice

The apex court directed the Punjab government for making security arrangements for a temple ahead of Holi festival on March 28. Punjab’s chief secretary and inspector general (IG) have been asked to look after the matters related to the organisation of Holi festival.

The hearing was adjourned till February 15.

Suo motu notice over Karak incident

Earlier on December 31, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) had taken notice of a tragic incident of vandalism at the shrine of a Hindu saint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Karak district.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, MNA and Patron in Chief Pakistan Hindu Council, had been called on the chief justice at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry and raised the issue of “desecration/burning of shrine of Hindu saint Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj” by a mob in Karak on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the SC.

CJP Ahmed had shown grave concern over the tragic incident and informed the member of Parliament that he has already taken cognizance of the matter and has fixed it before a bench for hearing on Jan 5 (Tuesday).

The country’s top adjudicator issued directions to the one-man commission on minorities rights, KPK chief secretary and IGP to visit the site of the shrine and submit a report on Monday.

According to reports, a mob had set the shrine of the Hindu saint on fire and demolished several of its parts in Teri area of Karak.

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