The Supreme Court on Friday directed Punjab police to immediately arrest culprits who attacked Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan while expressing displeasure over the police for failing to safeguard the temple. A two-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the suo moto notice case regarding vandalizing the Shree Ganesh temple in Bhong village of Rahim Yar Khan a day earlier. On Wednesday, hundreds of people had vandalized the temple in Bhong area of Rahim Yar Khan and blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) after a nine-year-old Hindu boy allegedly urinated in a local mosque. During the course of proceedings, Punjab’s chief secretary and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani presented report of the incident to the court. The chief justice asked the IGP what were the administration and the police doing when the temple was attacked. The IGP submitted that the assistant commissioner and assistant superintendent of police were present at the spot and their priority was to protect 70 Hindu homes around the temple. He said terrorism clauses were included in the first information report (FIR). The chief justice remarked that if the commissioner, deputy commissioner and the DPO could not perform, then they should be removed. The incident has damaged Pakistan’s reputation at an international level, he added. To a question from Justice Qazi Amin that whether the police has arrested anyone in the case, the IG responded that police has yet to make arrests in the case. The chief justice expressed shocked over the statement that even after passing three days no arrest was made so. “This case could have been solved by now if there were professionals in the police. Imagine, what would have been the reaction of Muslims if a mosque was demolished. Hindu temple was demolished and think what they must have felt,” the CJP remarked. He said that the government should recover money for the repair and restoration of the temple from the accused. Additional Attorney General Sohail Mahmood said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken notice of the incident. Upon this, the chief justice said the prime minister should continue with his work but the court would look into the legal aspects of the case. He observed that the culprits at large could cause problems for the Hindu community and sought assurances that such incidents did not happen again. He said that peace committees should be set up to promote interfaith harmony. The chief justice also criticized the police for registering a case against an eight-year-old boy and arresting him for alleged blasphemy. He asked did an eight-year-old child know the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim and directed the IGP to dismiss the SHO responsible for arresting the child over alleged blasphemy. The IGP said the SHO would be suspended and a departmental inquiry would be initiated against him. To which, the chief justice said that the government officials enjoy suspension as they still get paid. He said that the bureaucracy did not do any work as it was more concerned with enjoying the lifestyle. He said nobody knew how the provincial administration works. He asked how the Punjab government evaluates the performance of the civil servants. The Punjab chief secretary said that the government is making every effort to create religious harmony. He claimed that hatred was spread during Muharram and other such religious festivals. He also blamed social media for an increase in hateful content. The chief justice said that the Karak temple case where an action was taken by the police was an exception, as in several other incidents, nothing was done despite court orders. He said that police and administration start working after the incident. He asked the police to develop a system that stopped such incidents before they happen. The IGP assured the court that all culprits would be brought to justice in the case. He said there was a mosque, imambargah and temple in Bhong. He said that Alam (religious flag) at the Imambargah was also burnt for which an FIR was being registered. He said that three cases had been registered for closure of temple, Imambargah and motorway and all the accused would be arrested with video evidence. At this, Ramesh Kumar said that Abdul RazzaqSoomro, who incited the mob, had not been arrested as of yet. He said that an eight-year-old boy urinated in his clothes after he was beaten up in the mosque and the details of the incident were distorted to incite hatred. The court also expressed dissatisfaction at the Rahim Yar Khan commissioner’s performance and sought a progress report from the IGP and the chief secretary within a week.