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    Hindus in India, US, UAE pray at Pak’s 100-year-old renovated temple


    More than 200 Hindu pilgrims from India, the United States and the Gulf region prayed at the 100-year-old Maharaja Paramahansa Ji temple in Pakistan under tight security on Saturday, a year after the temple was demolished by an extremist Islamist group. . The Hindu delegation included about 200 devotees from India, 15 from Dubai, and the rest from the United States and other Gulf states.

    The Paramahansa G’s temple and ‘mausoleum’ at Teri village in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were extensively repaired last year after it was demolished by a mob in 2020, an incident that has drawn worldwide condemnation. The Indian pilgrims crossed the Wagah border near Lahore and were taken to the temple by armed men, officials said.

    The event was organized by the Pakistan Hindu Council in association with National Carrier Pakistan International Airlines. On that day, the funeral memorial and the village of Teri were guarded by 600 people, including Rangers, detectives and 600 security guards of the airport security force, led by a police super-rank officer.

    The ceremony lasted till Sunday afternoon, Hindu Council officials said. The ‘hujra’ or open reception rooms were converted into shelters for pilgrims.

    Markets near the temple have been buzzing with tourists and pictures of Hindu children playing cricket with local children. Rohit Kumar, in-charge of legal matters for the Hindu community, praised the Pakistani government for its arrangements and repairs.

    “Today’s prayer at the temple by travelers from India is a positive message for India to promote peace and religious harmony in the region,” he said. The Pakistan Hindu Council has promoted the initiative under the auspices of Biswas Tourism.

    Maharaja Paramahansa G died in 1919 in the village of Teri. Some members of the radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) vandalized the ‘Samadhi’ on December 30, 2020. The temple was also demolished in 1997.

    After the JUI-F recovered Rs 3.3 crore from the people, the provincial government reformed it.

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