Karachi: Four boys have been arrested in Pakistan for their alleged involvement in vandalising a temple in Sindh province with a Hindu minister seeking blasphemy charges against the minors, a media report said on Tuesday.
The boys, aged 15, 13, 13 and 12, have confessed to the crime and said that they carried out the act to steal money from the temple, Dawn newspaper quoted police officials as saying.
The Mata Deval Bhittani temple in a village near Thar's Chhachro town in Sindh province was vandalised on Sunday night by some unidentified persons who also desecrated the idols of deities, the report said.
An FIR was registered against the vandals on the directions of Thar Senior Superintendent of Police Abdullah Ahmedyar on Monday.
All the four accused, who belong Chhachhro town, were arrested by the Tharparkar police on Monday for vandalising the place of worship, the report said.
Chhachro Station House Office Hussain Bux Rajar, after a visit to the temple, said that he believes that the incident was aimed at disturbing the communal harmony of the area where Muslims and Hindus have been living together peacefully for decades.
Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Minorities Affairs Hari Ram Kishori Lal has asked the police to register a blasphemy case against the accused, it said.
According to the minorities department, Lal directed the police to conduct an investigation into the incident and arrest the miscreants.
"Chhachro is known for peace, communal harmony and religious tolerance. There must be some miscreants behind the incident who want to create (communal) disturbances in the area. Such incidents are intolerable as they shock the entire Hindu community," the report quoted the minister as saying.
"We are investigating them and looking into the minister's directions that the miscreants also desecrated the Mata Rani Bhittani Asthaan temple," a senior police official said.
The Special Assistant to Sindh chief minister on human rights, Advocate Veerji Kolhi, said that the miscreants had meant to disturb communal peace in the area and urged people of all communities to stay calm.
He promised that those responsible will be brought to justice. Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.
According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
Majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.