Hindus and Big Business Fight Over ‘Promised’ Land Outside Temple

March 22, 2007

Author: Farhan Ahmed

Source: Daily Times


KARACHI: A Hindu temple or mandir located under Native Jetty Bridge has become the focus of what is developing into a battle between two groups - the Hindus who worship there and the firm that wants to build a food street next door. Not lagging far behind are the political agents who bring the two together.

The dispute is not actually over the temple, but the 5,750 square feet area in front of it that the worshippers use on special occasions when their numbers increase. Now, the company building the food street wants to erect a boundary wall in front of the mandir for what it says is to maintain the privacy of the worshippers. The ground will be left empty but the company expects to landscape it and leave it as an open space for the people who visit the food street.

Some of the Hindus argue, however, that by building a boundary wall between the mandir and the ground, the company will be effectively cutting off the space that they use.

The land in question belongs to the Karachi Port Trust.

On Monday evening, a meeting was held by the Hindus concerned and an eight-member committee was formed to tackle the issue. The committee consists of the president, secretary and general secretary of the Hindu Panchayat. The meeting was attended by Advisor to Prime Minister on Minorities, Kishan Chand Parwani, Pakistan Hindu Council General Secretary Visharam A. Tharwami, Hindu Panchayat President MPA Mukesh Chawla and MPA Dr. Ramesh Kumar amongst others.