A mob of Islamists vandalised a Hindu temple and desecrated the murti (approximate translation: idol) of SriKrishna at Khipro in District Sanghar of Sindh in Pakistan on 30 August, the day of Janmashtami. The incident occurred during a religious function at the Hindu temple celebrating Janmashtami, the tithi (date as per the Indian calendar) of the birth of the eighth incarnation of Vishnu.
Earlier this month, hundreds of Pakistanis had damaged a Hindu temple in Bhong of District Rahim Yar Khan, about 590 km from Lahore.
The Government of Pakistan said subsequently that it had completed the restoration work of the temple in Punjab province and arrested 90 suspects involved in the attack.
The Muslim mob armed with weapons, sticks and bamboos attacked policemen deployed at the temple and vandalised and also burnt down a part of the temple. The miscreants had damaged the idols, walls, doors and electric fittings while desecrating the temple.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had condemned the attack on the temple after India lodged a strong protest and summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires over the incident.
“Strongly condemn attack on Ganesh Mandir in Bhung, RYK yesterday. I have already asked IG Punjab to ensure the arrest of all culprits and take action against any police negligence. The government will also restore the Mandir,” Imran Khan had said in a tweet.
India has, on several occasions, raised concerns over the attacks on minorities and non-Islamic religious structures in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Last year, several temples, including Mata Rani Bhatiyani Mandir in Sindh, Gurudwara Sri Janam Sthan, a Hindu temple in Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were attacked in Pakistan.
Hindus constitute the largest minority community in Pakistan. As per the official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus reside in Pakistan, mostly in Sindh province.
In recent years, there has been a surge in attacks on places of worship of religious minorities in Pakistan. The country has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not safeguarding the interest of its minorities.