The Hindu community in Karachi woke up on Saturday morning to find their 150-year-old holy shrine, Mari Mata Temple, in Karachi’s Soldier Bazar vandalized, Dawn reported.
Locals say the operation took place late on Friday night when there was no electricity in the area. That’s when diggers and bulldozers arrived to finish the job. They demolished the entire inner structure while leaving the outer walls and the main gate intact.
According to Dawn, residents claimed that the police vehicle was present to provide ‘cover’ to persons operating bulldozers and other equipment.
Dawn is a Pakistani English language newspaper started in 1941.
Mari Mata Temple is located on Mukhi Chohitam Road very close to Soldier Bazar Police Station.
Sri Ram Nath Mishra Maharaj of Sri Panch Mukhi Hanuman Mandir, another very old temple nearby, told Dawn, “This is a very old temple.”
It is said to have been built 150 years ago. We have also heard stories of old treasures buried in its courtyard,” Dawn reported, adding that it was spread over about 400 to 500 square meters and there was talk of squatters, who had been eyeing it for some time.
“The mandir was under the administration of the Madarsi Hindu community of Karachi and as it was said to be a very old and dangerous structure, the mandir management reluctantly but temporarily shifted their deities to a place after much pressure. A small room near the storm water train until renovation work was done there,” he added.
But last night Mari Mata Mandir was deserted, he said.
Meanwhile, a member of the Madrasi Hindu group claimed that Emraan Hashmi and Rekha AKA Naagin Bai forced them to leave. It was also discussed that the two had sold the temple to another party Pakistan 70 million rupees (PKR), the buyers plan to build a commercial structure there. There is also mention of making some forged documents in the name of a person named Nawaid, which helped convert the lease of the amenity plot into a commercial one.
Dawn reported that the community has appealed to the Pakistan-Hindu Council, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sindh Inspector General of Police to take notice of the incident and investigate it immediately.