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Home   News   Karachi : Hindus urge authorities to save 150-year-old temple

Karachi : Hindus urge authorities to save 150-year-old temple

March 24, 2014

Phalgun Krushna Paksha Ashtami/Navami, Kaliyug Varsha 5115

Karachi : Hindus in Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi on Monday urged authorities to halt construction work on an underpass, which they say endangers a 150-year-old temple.

The minority community said vibrations from excavation work on a road being  built just metres away from the Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple could cause  irreparable damage to the building’s structure.

Pakistan’s Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani on Monday ordered local  authorities to provide an impact report within two weeks, but a Hindu community  leader said that may be too late to save the temple.

“Heavy machinery is at work right now and it is our request that the court  issue a stay order,” Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the patron of the Pakistan Hindu  Council told AFP.

The temple has long been a fixture on the city’s Clifton Beach, a popular  recreation spot adjacent to Karachi’s most upmarket neighbourhood.

According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, the temple holds a Grand Mela  every year, attracting some 25,000 pilgrims.

Construction of the underpass is being financed by developer Bahria Town, which wants a road to link up to a skyscraper it is building some hundreds of metres away from the temple.

But Vankwani said even the skyscraper was built on “evacuee property” —  land abandoned by Hindus at the time of India’s partition.

Under the law, such property is meant to be protected by the government.

Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the independent Human Rights Commission of  Pakistan said construction work “would vandalise the very face of a historical  part of the city”.

Officials at Bahria Town could not be reached for comment immediately.

Discrimination and violence against religious minorities is commonplace in  Pakistan, where Muslims make up 97 percent of the population.

Source : New Straits Times

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