A gang of dacoits attacked a place of worship — reportedly with “rocket launchers” —belonging to members of the Hindu community in Sindh's Kashmore during the early hours of Sunday. This is the second such incident of vandalism of a Hindu place of worship in less than 24 hours.
The first incident took place in Karachi when the Hindu community on Saturday woke up to find the old Mari Mata Temple Soldier Bazaar had been razed, the Dawn reported.
In Kashmore, the assailants attacked the temple and the adjoining homes belonging to Hindus under the jurisdiction of the Ghouspur police station. They fired indiscriminately at the temples and homes. After the firing noise, a police unit led by Kashmore-Kandhkot SSP Irfan Sammo reached the scene.
The police official said that the dacoits fired “rocket launchers” at the place of worship. Fortunately, the temple was closed during the attack. The police official added that the temple opens annually for religious services conducted by the Bagri community, the Dawn reported.
“The suspects fled from the scene after the attack. Police are conducting a search operation in the area,” he said.
SSP Sammo estimated that there were eight to nine gunmen, whom they were tracking in the riverine areas.
Meanwhile, Suresh, a member of the Bagri community, said that the “rocket launchers” fired by the dacoits failed to explode, resulting in no loss of life, the Dawn reported.
He called the police to protect the community, saying the incident had left the residents in panic.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said it was alarmed by reports of “deteriorating law and order in the districts of Kashmore and Ghotki in Sindh, where some 30 members of the Hindu community — including women and children — have allegedly been held hostage by organised criminal gangs”.
“Moreover, we have received disturbing reports that these gangs have threatened to attack the community's sites of worship, using high-grade weapons,” the commission said, calling on the Sindh Home Department to investigate the matter without delay.
In the other incident that took place on the night of Friday-Saturday, the Hindu community in Karachi on Saturday morning woke to find their 150-year-old-holy shrine Mari Mata Temple demolished in Karachi's Soldier Bazaar, reported Dawn.
According to locals, the operation took place late Friday night while there was no electricity in the area. That's when the diggers and bulldozers arrived to finish the job. They razed the entire inside structure while leaving the outer walls and the main gate intact.
Residents reportedly claimed to see a police vehicle present to give 'cover' for the individuals operating the bulldozers and other equipment, as per Dawn.