SC censures Punjab police over Hindu temple desecration

Observer Report

The Supreme Court on Friday censured Punjab police for failing to safeguard the Hindu temple that was attacked by a mob in Rahim Yar Khan two days ago, and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits as well as temple’s restoration.

On Thursday, the apex court took suo motu notice of the incident after patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council Dr Ramesh Kumar called on Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed to draw his attention to the incident.

The CJP had summoned Punjab’s chief secretary and Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani to appear before the court along with a report on the incident.

“The temple was attacked. What were the administration and the police doing?” the chief justice questioned during the hearing.

Ghani replied that the assistant commissioner and assistant superintendent of police were present at the scene.

“The administration’s priority was to protect 70 Hindu homes around the temple,” Ghani said. He also told the court that terrorism clauses had been added in the first information report.

“If the commissioner, deputy commissioner and the DPO can’t perform, then they should be removed,” the chief justice remarked.

He said the incident had damaged Pakistan’s reputation at an international level.
“The police did nothing except [for] watching the spectacle,” Justice Gulzar said. Upon being told that no arrests were made in the case so far, Justice Qazi Amin said: “The police failed in fulfilling its responsibility.”

Justice Amin added that even if arrests were made, the police would release the suspects on bail and try to make the parties reconcile.

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