A Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Sindh province was vandalised by an angry mob that also attempted to attack over 300 Hindu families, but were stopped by Muslims from entering the century-old neighbourhood, a media report said on Wednesday. The incident took place on Sunday in Sheetal Das compound, housing 300 Hindu and 30 Muslim families.
Residents of the neighbourhood said that scores of men had assembled outside the compound’s only gate and many of them intended to attack the Hindu families. However, the Muslim families, residing in and around the compound, were quick to reach the gate and stop the mob from entering the area.
“Police, too, reached the spot within a few minutes after they were informed," a Hindu man, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune. Another Hindu man said: “Some of the angry men had managed to reach the temple and tried to vandalise it".
They wanted to attack the compound’s Hindu families, but the police foiled their attempt. However, other eyewitnesses, said that three pre-partition idols were destroyed during the episode, the report said. “I never felt that fearful," said a teary-eyed resident, while sharing the ordeal.
An official from the police also confirmed that it was the Muslim families of the area whose resilience stopped the mob attack on the minority Hindu community. “Had it not been for the Muslim families, it would have been very difficult to thwart the attack," said the senior police official.
Following the incident, over 60 Hindu families had shifted to other areas of the city by Tuesday. “The fear still lingers and the people have left their homes and shifted women and children to locations they deem safe," said a resident.
One of the elders from the Hindu community, who has lived all his life in that compound, said that he “had never seen an attack of the sort as the one he witnessed on Sunday". Hindus form almost two per cent of the 220 million population in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Most of the Hindus live in Sindh province.
They often complain of harassment by the extremists.