16:40 GMT26 January 2021
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    An ancient Hindu temple - Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi and Krishna Dwara Mandir - in Pakistan’s Karak district in Khyber Pakhtunkwa was vandalised by a mob on Wednesday who claimed that the temple was trespassing on land it didn't own.

    Shocking videos of an angry mob attacking a Hindu temple and setting it on fire in Pakistan's Karak district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are doing the rounds on the internet, leading to a new controversy ahead of the New Year.

    On Wednesday, the pro-Islamic political party of Pakistan - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-(F) - reportedly held a rally during which speakers delivered impassioned speeches provoking the crowd to demolish Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi and Krishna Dwara temple.

    Meanwhile, supporters of the temple have denied claims by local Islamic clerics that the building had spilt out onto extra land it doesn't own and was carrying out expansion work.

    Earlier on Thursday, while the police at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Station registered what is known as a First Information Report, Justice Gulzar Ahmed of Pakistan’s Supreme Court has taken the incident into consideration and has fixed a hearing for 5 January.

    Leaving netizens enraged, social media has been deluged with reactions condemning this act that has led to strife and riots in the community.

    Indian filmmaker Onir retweeted the video and strongly criticised the hatred and violence triggered by the incident.

    This is not the first time this temple has suffered attack. According to a report in India’s newspaper Hindustan Times, a mob tried to demolish the temple in 1997 but after the Supreme Court intervened in 2015, the local community agreed to its reconstruction.

    Despite the reconstruction, there was a dispute over the land allocated to the temple.

    District police officer Irfan Marwat said the mob was protesting against the expansion of the temple and only demolished the new construction work alongside the old structure.

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    Hindus, minority groups, minority, Pakistan, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Pakistan-India relations, fire, ancient temple, Temple, temple
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