New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India has lodged a formal protest with Pakistan over the demolition of a Hindu Temple by a mob led by local clerics in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, news agency ANI reported, quoting a source.

The mob was reportedly instigated to fiery speeches delivered during a rally held by Jamiat Ulema-e Isla-Fazl (JUI-F) in the vicinity of the temple. JUI-F KP Amir Maulana Ataur Rahman, however, has said his party had nothing to do with the act of vandalism. Videos of the incident shared on social media showed a mob of over a hundred people destroying the walls and roofs of the temple, while smoke ccould be seen billowing from the ruined structure.  

The temple will now be reconstructed using the provincial government's funds, its information minister said on Friday. "We regret the damage cause by the attack. The Chief Minister has ordered the reconstruction of the temple and adjoining house," provincial information minister Kamran Bangash told AFP.

The incident of vandalism took place after members of the local community received permission from local authorities to renovate the temple. The demolition had drawn widespread condemnation from human rights activists and Hindu community in Pakistan.  The country's minister for religious affairs, Noorul Haq Qadri, called the attack "a conspiracy against sectarian harmony."

Bangash said the construction of the temple will start as soon as possible with the help of the Hindu community. 

The temple is located 160 kilometres southwest of Peshawar. Devotees often visit the temple and its shrine to pay homage to the Hindu saint Shri Paramhans. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja