Karachi, July 16, 2023: (PTI) Hindu temple, believed to be built nearly 150 years ago, has been demolished after being declared an old and dangerous structure in Karachi, the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Sindh province, leaving the Hindu community in shock.
The Mari Mata Temple in Karachi’s Soldier Bazaar was razed to the ground by bulldozers in the presence of a heavy contingent of police force late on Friday night.
“They (authorities) did it very early in the morning and we were not informed this was going to happen,” said Ram Nath Mishra Maharaj, who looks after old Hindu temples in the area.
Mishra, the caretaker of the nearby Shri Punch Mukhi Hanuman Mandir, said the bulldozers left the outer walls and the temple’s main gate intact, but they demolished the entire inside structure.
Mishra said that the temple was built some 150 years ago and told stories that there was treasure buried beneath its courtyard.
He said the temple, which covered some 400 to 500 square yards in the area, had been the target of land grabbers and developers for years now.
A senior police official of the local police station said that the temple was demolished as it had been declared a dangerous structure by authorities.
He said the temple was run by the Madrasi Hindu community of Karachi which had agreed the structure was very old and dangerous. The temple management reluctantly but temporarily moved most of the deities to a small room until they could carry out some renovation work there, he added.
A Hindu community leader of the area, Ramesh, said the temple management was under pressure to vacate the premises for some time now as the land had been sold to a developer on forged documents who wanted to build a commercial building on the plot.
The Hindu community has appealed to the Pakistan-Hindu Council, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and the Inspector General of Sindh police to take notice and look into the matter on an urgent basis.
Karachi is home to many ancient Hindu Mandirs.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.
The majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents.