Top police officer of Punjab province, Inam Ghani disclosed on Thursday that Punjab police have apprehended as many as 95 men so far under charges of attacking a temple in Bhong, vandalising it, and damaging idols.
He said that three FIRs have been registered, adding that the police acted on the information it received.
On August 05, a video of charged men attacking a mandir went viral on social media. They broke the windows and shouted Allah-o-Akbar as they vandalised the temple. The Supreme Court ordered the immediate arrest of the culprits.
"No one has been punished in the past but they will be now," the Punjab IG assured the residents of Bhong while addressing a press conference. He had earlier visited a Ganesh temple and an imambargah in the area.
He said that the police have taken steps to ensure the security of minorities in the area. "Shiite Muslims and Hindus don't need to live in fear any more." We will provide security to everyone. The government of Pakistan and Punjab police are standing with its minorities, the IG added.
The communities in Bhong have been living peacefully for years. He claimed that the lives of the Hindus are the government's priority. "The temple can be restored and we have restored it but we wouldn't have been able to repay it."
It is pertinent to mention that the temple has been handed over to Pakistan Hindu Council. According to the police, around 10 days before the attack, a seminary or madrassa teacher lodged a complaint that a young non-Muslim boy entered the seminary and desecrated it. The police registered a case and arrested the boy.
He was, however, released on bail in a few days. In protest, a mob shut down the city and blocked the M5 motorway. The police tried to negotiate with the protesters but failed. Consequently, the protesters attacked the temple.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the attack on the temple and showed “grave concern over the tragic incident”. On August 06, the Supreme Court took a suo motu notice of the vandalism. “A temple was vandalised. What was the administration and police doing?” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad asked. Imagine what would have happened if any mosque had been demolished. A case was registered by the Punjab police and provisions of terrorism have been added.