About 2,310 policemen to guard worship places of minorities in Sindh against takfiri terrorists

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Saturday, 02 May 2015

KARACHI: After the attacks of takfiri terrorists reported in recent months against Hindu temples in different parts of Sindh, the provincial government has deployed security on an average of less than two police guards per worship place across the province, it emerged on Wednesday.

The Sindh Police has prepared a report and sent it to the provincial home department stating that a total of 1,253 worship places belonging to different religious minorities have been documented in Sindh. These included 703 Hindu temples and 523 churches, 21 belonging to the Ahmadi community and the remaining six are Sikh gurdwaras.

A total of 2,310 policemen have been deputed to guard all those places.

According to a district-wise break-up of the worship places given in the report, most of them — 494 to be precise — are situated in Karachi, which include 387 churches and 107 temples.

Karachi East has the most temples (200) followed by 116 in Karachi West and 71 in South district. However, more temples (61) are documented in Karachi South, followed by 39 in Karachi East and seven in West district.

Hyderabad has 238 worship places, including 156 temples and 72 churches and 10 belong to Ahmadi community. Similarly, Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas have respectively 50 and 112 temples, 12 and 21 churches and six and five Ahmadi establishments.

Larkana has 141 temples, seven churches and five gurdwaras while Sukkur has 137 temples, 24 churches and one gurdwara.

Officials said that there are 232 policemen deputed to guard 239 churches and temples in Karachi East — less than one for each place of worship. To bridge the gap, they added, 11 guards have been provided by various NGOs in the district.

The security cover to 116 churches and seven temples is much impressive in Karachi West where 364 policemen have been deployed while NGOs have provided 43 additional guards.

In Karachi South, 132 temples and churches, the authorities have provided 213 policemen while NGOs have contributed 83 additional guards.

A total of 545 policemen have been deployed for 238 worship places in Hyderabad. The break-up of deployment of policemen in other districts is: Benazirabad (88 policemen and 10 NGOs guards for 68 places), Mirpurkhas (153 police for 138 places), Larkana (364 policemen for 153 worship places) and Sukkur (351 policemen and 16 NGO guards for 162 places).

The report, compiled in March, also documents five violent attacks on worship places of religious minorities during the last six months all of them against Hindus.

Three temples Radha Kishna in Hyderabad, Shanga Bhawani in Makli, Thatta and Hanuman in Tando Mohammad Khan, and a Dharamsala in Larkana were attacked.

The report added that misuse of blasphemy laws were reported from Dambala village of Badin district.

Officials in the provincial home department conceded that the deployment of security was generally disproportionate in districts, particularly in Karachi East where the number of policemen was less than the number of worship places they were supposed to secure.

They, however, added that the provincial police was stretched to the limit in terms of availability of manpower and finances and had regretted to add to the existing number of policemen it had given to guard the religious places.

However, they added, the police high-ups had been asked to re-distribute the number of existing policemen in the districts where it was significantly less than the number of worship places or an average of more than two police guards had been deputed outside on a single church or temple.

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