NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed, on Thursday took notice of the attack on a Hindu temple by a charged mob in Bhong village of Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan district, a statement said.
The top judge took cognisance of the incident after Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan who is also the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, called on Chief Justice Ahmed at the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss the issue of the temple attack.
The Chief Justice “showed grave concern over the tragic incident”, according to a press release issued by the Supreme Court, the Dawn reported.
He fixed the matter for hearing before the court on August 6 (Friday) in Islamabad, and directed the Punjab Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police to appear for the hearing along with a report.
Vankwani has also been summoned, the statement added.
The incident took place on Wednesday, when hundreds of people vandalised a Hindu temple in Bhong and blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated in a local seminary, was granted bail by a local court.
Responding to the situation late on Wednesday evening, the district administration deployed Rangers in the area after Deputy Commissioner Khuram Shehzad and District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz visited the town.
On the complaint of a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran, the Bhong police had registered a case against the boy (who was not named) under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Pakistan Penal Code on July 25, the report said.
Sources said some Hindu elders had tendered an apology to the seminary administration, saying the suspect was a minor and mentally challenged. But when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops closed in protest there.
A video clip that went viral on social media showed charged people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows and lights, and damaging the ceiling fans and idols, the Dawn reported.
Later, the protesters also blocked the M-5 motorway for more than three hours.
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said that Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
About the alleged late response by the police authorities, sources said senior officials were busy attending the Police Martyrs’ Day ceremonies.