KARAK: A historic Hindu temple was razed and set ablaze in Teri area of Karak district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, police and local sources said.

The Krishna Dwara temple which is situated in Karak’s Teri union council was razed by a mob of hundreds of people against the plan to expand the temple. Police were helpless against the mob which was razing and vandalising the temple for several hours.

In 1919, Guru Shri Paramhans Dayal was laid to rest at the site and a temple was built there. Muslim residents of the area closed the temple after the Partition in 1947. In 2015, the Krishna Dwara temple was restored on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Hindus and the Muslims signed an agreement on December 22 agreeing that the renovation of the temple would not exceed the specified area.

Muslim residents of the area said the Hindu community was illegally expanding the temple building. They said the matter was reported to the police too, but no action was taken. They said they took the action after no cooperation from police. They said they would never allow the expansion of the temple.

Advocate Rohit Kumar, a representative of the Hindu community, claimed that the residents violated the agreement by vandalising the temple.

Police arrived at the scene very late, but it eventually brought the situation under control. District Police Officer (DPO) called help from police in the whole district and the situation only came under control after arrival of police contingents.

Police have registered a first information report (FIR) and started investigation.

KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has taken strong notice of the incident and ordered inquiry and sought report. In a statement, he said such incidents would never be tolerated and people involved in razing the temple will be brought to justice. He said the rights of minorities will be protected at all costs.

Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Kamran Bangash also condemned razing of the temple building and said the government feels very sad over this incident.

Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also condemned the burning of the Hindu temple in Karak. She said the KP government must ensure culprits are brought to justice.