Pakistani police arrested 14 people on Thursday night in the destruction of a Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday.
The unruly mob that destroyed the temple crowd claimed that the Krishna Dwara Temple had encroached land. However, the Hindu community had received permission from local authorities to renovate the temple.
Hundreds of people destroyed the newly renovated structure with hammers and set ablaze buildings over a land dispute. The mob was allegedly led by a local cleric and supporters of Pakistan's radical outfit Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, reported Hindustan Times.
According to the district police, the mob was protesting against the expansion work of the temple and demolished Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj's Samadhi alongside the old structure.
The temple was established in 1919, before the partition. It was demolished in 1997 and reconstructed in 2015 after the Pakistan Supreme Court's order. The locals agreed to construct the temple, but the land dispute continued, the report read.
Hundreds of people vandalised the temple and set fire to the building while the police became mute spectators, eyewitnesses said on Wednesday.
Pakistan's religious affairs minister Noorul Haq Qadri condemned the incident and said, "Protection of religious freedom of minorities is our religious, constitutional, moral and national responsibility".
Human rights minister Shireen Mazari also took to Twitter and said that the province must ensure that Hindus get justice.
Hinduism is the second most followed religion in Pakistan after Islam. There are approximately 75 lakh Hindus living in Pakistan and majority of them are settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by the extremists.