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Prem Kholi | HENB | Karachi | March 24, 2017:: When the Hindu Temples and those properties in Pakistan are being grabbed by the Islamic land Mafias and facing existential threat, the Sindh High Court comes forwards in such a case of illegal encroachment of temple properties.
The Sindh High Court has directed the Sujawal district’s deputy commissioner and police officials to protect the Hindu community’s 160-year-old place of worship and take action against land grabbers in the district.
Hearing a petition, a division bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar directed the deputy commissioner to take action against three men who had allegedly encroached upon the temple’s land.
The petitioner, Ashwar Kumar, had moved the court against the unlawful occupation of the Shewalo (Shivalo) Mandir and disallowing worshipers’ entry into their place of worship by the land grabbers.
He submitted that the temple, survey No. 95, was located in Union Council Chohar Jamali. He alleged that Sattar, Pappu and Malo had recently illegally occupied the temple’s premises and were not allowing worshippers to perform their religious rituals.
He said complaints had been filed with the Mukhtiarkar of Shahbandar, the SHO of Chohar Jamali Police Station and other authorities, but no action was being taken to remedy the situation. He said the deputy commissioner too had not yet taken any action on his application. He requested the court to order the authorities to take action against the culprits and to ensure free access of worshipers to the place.
During the previous hearing, the court had summoned Shahbandar Mukhtiarkar Abdul Rasheed and SHO Sub-Inspector Mushtaq Ahmed. They appeared before the court and gave an undertaking that they would provide full protection to the petitioner and protect the temple.
Rasheed pointed out that the petitioner’s complaint was pending before the deputy commissioner, who also undertook to take action in accordance with the law. The judges directed them to ensure security for the worshipers and the temple. They also directed the deputy commission to file a compliance report, failing which he would have to appear in person. The next hearing is on April 7.
From the site of Pakistan Hindu Council it is known that there were 644 Hindu Temples in 2007 in Sindh province of Pakistan+, where the majority of Hindus live. An confidential source reports that only 358 Temples are saved in 2017, when almost half of the total Hindu temples are destroyed, encroached or changed to shopping place, Muslim private property, govt roads, bus stand shade, or place of other use, just in 10 years.
Particularly in Sujawal district in Sindh, there were 18 temples in 2007. Now only 9 temples exist so far. If this Shewalo (Shivalo) Temple is not saved anyway, the count of temples in Sujawal district will reach down to the half mark.
In 2014, authorities in Karachi compelled to halt the construction of an overpass, which threatened the foundation of a 150-year-old Ratneshwar Mahadev Hindu temple+ due to the agitation by the Hindu activists and for an order passed by the Supreme court of Pakistan.
Despite the cry of Hindus and the efforts of Courts to save, the number of Hindu Temples come down to half of mark in Pakistan in last 10 years.