Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government sacked 12 police officers following an investigation report that found them guilty of “negligence” in protecting a Hindu temple in the province, which was set on fire by a crowd led by members of a radical Islamist party.
The government also waived the one-year service of 33 police officers in connection with the incident.
The temple in Terri village, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was attacked by mobs on December 30 after members of The Bharat Express News community received permission from local authorities to renovate its decades-old building. The crowd demolished the newly built structure next to the old structure.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kohat Region, Tayyab Hafeez Cheema had appointed Superintendent of Police (Investigation Section) Zahir Shah as an investigator to investigate the incident and submit his report within a week.
Mr. Shah investigated 73 police officers and recommended dismissing 12 of them for negligence and irresponsibility in the performance of their official duties.
In view of the available file and the facts in the file, the reading of the investigative documents and the recommendations of the investigators, they are found guilty of the charges. They show cowardice, negligence and irresponsibility in the performance of their official obligations. They failed to protect The Bharat Express News temple, which brought the police service into disrepute in the eyes of the general public, ”the report said.
The report recommended giving up the regular one-year service of 33 police officers. The officer also recommended writing to Police Superintendent of the Border Reserve Police Kohat to lightly punish the other 28 staff.
Among the 12 dismissed police officers are the head of the police station (SHO) and the deputy deputy inspector of the Terri police station.
The report states that the mob, under the supervision of Maulana Shareef, assaulted The Bharat Express News temple of Terri, where the mob burned the said temple and damaged it without any interruption, as a result of which a complaint was filed under various sections with the Terri police. station.
Maulana Shareef, who is in custody, is said to have incited the crowd.
“This is very unfavorable on their part and shows negligence, recklessness and irresponsibility on the part of the offenders,” the report said.
Meanwhile, a delegation of MPs from minority communities visited the vandalized Hindu temple on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court ordered the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) to start rebuilding the damaged temple and asked authorities to recover the money for the restoration work from the attackers whose act caused “embarrassment international “in Pakistan.
On January 1, India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the vandalization of the temple, saying it expected Pakistan to investigate the incident and asked for the investigation report to be shared. with him.
According to sources, the Ministry of External Affairs has expressed serious concerns to the Pakistan High Commission about the repeated cases of similar incidents and atrocities against members of the minority community.
“The Pakistani government was also convinced that this was not the first time that the temple has been destroyed. This has been happening since 1997. We also requested that the investigation report be shared with the ministry,” a source said. .
Hindus form the largest minority community in Pakistan.
According to official estimates, 75 Hindu lakh live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, more than 90 Hindu lakh live in the country.
The majority of The Bharat Express News population of Pakistan is settled in the province of Sindh, where they share their culture, traditions and language with the Muslim residents. They often complain about the harassment of extremists.