By Dherminder Balach
According to the local Hindu community, the government has not allowed them to celebrate the festival of Holi in the open ground of Palace Road, Basti Aman Garh in Rahim Yar Khan this year.
The district administration of Rahim Yar Khan has mentioned the security situation in the country as the main reason for not allowing the Hindu community for celebrating their festival in the open ground, local officials told PakVoices.
The Hindus have been celebrating the festivities of Holi by throwing colours on each other in the open ground of Basti Aman Garh each year since long. And Muslims have also attended the gala.
Pritam Das Balaj, a representative of the Hindu community in Rahim Yar Khan and a prominent social worker of the region, while talking to PakVoices told that the government has refused to provide security to the Hindu community on the occasion of Holi festival.
He added, “Our temple has already been closed and we cannot celebrate Holi in the wilderness of Cholistan.” Therefore, the Hindu community has been restricted to their homes would celebrate the festive event without much ado.
Locals from the Hindu community revealed that the district administration of Rahim Yar Khan has already sealed many temples due to lack of adequate security measures.
According to the administration, the Hindu community is responsible for the security arrangements of the temples that include security guards, CCTV cameras, 8 feet high boundary wall and barriers.
Regarding the closure of the temples, Mr. Balaj told PakVoices, “We do not have the enough resources to arrange for the security of the temples.” He added, “It is the government’s responsibility to provide security to the worship places of the minorities.”
Mr. Balaj continued, “Ten to twelve temples have been closed just in Rahim Yar Khan owing to the security situation whereas our community is obliged to offer prayers at homes.”
The temples that have been closed include Temple of Bhagat Kabir, Temple of Rama Peer, Temple of Baba Sada Raam and some others.
Dhermindar Balach is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Rahim Yar Khan. All photos by the author.
This article has been translated by Hasan Waqas in Islamabad.