PESHAWAR - The Hindu Rights Movement has demanded of the government to take early steps for return and rehabilitation of their religious places occupied by land mafia in Dera Ismael Khan and other cities and towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Through a letter, Chairman of Hindu Rights Movement stated, "Despite facing indiscrimination and hostile attitude at each and every forum, we are still pinning high hopes on countrymen. There is nothing wrong regarding religious minorities in the national constitution but certain elements in different sphere of life are fuelling hostilities against the non-Muslims community."

Diverting attention towards injustices, specially insult to their religious places, the chairman reminded that in Dera Ismael Khan around 700-year-old temple was not only in the occupation of a trader but even its prayer rooms and corridors were being used as a hotel. He said that the temple was in occupation of the trader from the last 60 years and they time and again made complaints with the government for its return and rehabilitation as well.

He said that Kali Bari Mandar in Dera Ismael Khan was decorated with precious statues and other items but now almost all these statues were either destroyed or shifted to other places.

Furthermore, he said that 30 to 35 prayer rooms of the temple at Commissionery Bazaar of Dera Ismael Khan were being used as a hotel whereas portraits of models and artists were visible. "On the places of statues, now occupants are placing shoes and used clothes, which is an insult to Hindu religious norms," he remarked and pleading for early return of this historical temple to the Hindu community.

The chairman informed that occupants were now making attempts to construct a commercial plaza on a portion of the historical temple. "Such act on the part of occupants deserve condemnation," he added, urging the authorities concerned to come forward for the protection and maintenance of temple.  In recent past, the Hindu Rights Movement had approached former governor Owais Ahmad Ghani for restoration of Kali Baari Mandar.

Likewise, they recently handed over applications to present and former chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said that Hindu community is ready for establishing and construction of schools and hospitals on their properties, which could make easy the task of the government.

He called upon Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for fulfilling responsibilities regarding return of Hindu community's religious places and properties.