At least 12 police officers have been sacked for failing to stop a mob from demolishing a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province last month.
The cops showed “cowardice, negligence, and irresponsibility in the discharge of their official obligations,” according to the official inquiry report released on Thursday. Some 33 more police officers have been suspended from service for a year.
“They failed to protect the Hindu temple, which caused disrepute for the police department in the eyes of general public,” the report said.
On Dec. 30, hundreds of followers of a Muslim group destroyed the temple built in 1920 in Karak, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Peshawar.
Karak police ask NADRA to identify Hindu temple attack perpetrators
Karak police authorities have sought the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) help to locate and identify all the people involved in the Hindu temple attack, through the videos of the incident which have been collected by police investigation teams.
Pakistan: 12 cops fired over Hindu temple attack
33 more cops suspended for 'cowardice, negligence' while mob destroyed historic temple in northwest Pakistan last month https://t.co/HbksGfAuF0
— Islamuddin Sajid (@islamudinsajid) January 15, 2021
“We have sought the help of NADRA to arrest all the accused involved in the incident and we are also mobilizing human intelligence teams as approximately 300 people have been charged in the FIR,” DIG Kohat Tayyab Hafiz Cheema told The Express Tribune. “Around 109 suspects had already been arrested and efforts are being made to apprehend the rest,” he added.
According to locals, the Hindu community was being asked for a price three times higher than the actual price of houses and shops in the area. The Hindu community wanted to extend the temple.
The attack came as the local Hindu community was carrying out renovations at the historic site.
The country’s Supreme Court and government condemned the incident, ordering authorities to arrest the perpetrators and rebuild the temple.
Pakistan is home to over 3.5 million Hindus and has several revered Hindu sites within its borders, including the Katas Raj Temples in the northeastern Chakwal district and Sadhu Bela Temple in the southern Sukkur district.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk