The Rebuilding of Krishna Mandir on Ravi Road
BY: STAFF CORRESPONDENT
Dec 18, LAHORE, PAKISTAN (SUN/HPI) The Babri Masjid Riots, 14 Years Later.
On the fourteen-year anniversary of the Babri Masjid riots, the Hindu community this week demanded the reconstruction of more than 1,000 temples across Pakistan which had been demolished by Muslims who rioted in December 1992, as protest against the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India. Meanwhile, Muslims in India commemorated December 6, the day Babri Masjid was demolished by Hindus, as a "day of resistance" and demanded the Indian government reconstruct the Babri Masjid and take action against those responsible for the incident.
The All Pakistan Balmik Sabha (APBS) Balochistan President, Atnay Ram Chohan, said that more than 1,000 Hindu temples were damaged in Pakistan following the Babri Masjid incident, and the government had assured the Hindu community that their places of worship would be restored, but that promise has yet to be fulfilled.
APBS Punjab General Secretary Dr Munohar Chand said that though the government had started reconstructing several temples in Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Kohat, Bahawalpur and Lahore, the pace of work was slow and must be completed on priority to promote religious harmony in the country.
Several temples in Lahore, including Jain Mandir, Krishna Mandir, Balmik Mandir in Nila Gumbad, Balmik Mandir and Bawa Mandir in Taxali Gate and Shah Alam Mandir had been damaged in the violent protests in 1992, but the government had only reconstructed the Krishna Mandir on Ravi Road.
In June of this year, the Lahore High Court stayed efforts for a shopping plaza construction on the Krishna Temple land, and addressed the proposed demolition of the Krsna temple. The court issued the prohibition order on the argument that no law of the land allowed a religious building to be razed to ground and the use of its property for any other purpose.
He also submitted that damaging or demolition of a worship place attracted the mischief of blasphemy and section 295 of the PPC provided for an imprisonment of two years for the desecration of religious places and property belonging to religious minorities.
One advocate submitted that the ETPB notification under which the decision to demolish the temple was taken, contravened the Constitution and a number of other international declarations and covenants, including the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and brought a bad name to the country across the world.
He submitted that the federal government had wrongly stated that the demolished Hindu temple was not the famous Krishna Mandir and that the same was situated at Ravi Road.
Over the last three years, there has been a significant increase in the number of reports of Muslim governments and local authorities destroying Hindu temple in several parts of the world, including Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Bringing attention and subsequent pressure to bear through the international media will likely be the only thing to save many old and beloved Hindu temples from future destruction.