An Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) in Bahawalpur has handed down a sentence of five years imprisonment and fine in its verdict in the Rahim Yar Khan (Bhong) Temple attack case to each of the total 22 accused individuals on Wednesday.
The offenders will also go through 11 months of additional jail term if they fail to pay the fine, the prosecution said. Nearly 84 people were being tried under the temple attack case of Bhong.
ATC judge Nasir Hussain acquitted 62 of the other accused individuals in the case giving them the benefit of doubt.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons had attacked Ghanesh Mandir on August 4, 2021 of the Hindu community in Rahim Yar Khan district, ransacking its building.
The police had detained as many as 84 people for attacking and damaging the temple’s building.
The then chief justice Gulzar Ahmed took suo motu notice of the attack on the temple and asked Punjab Police to arrest those responsible. A video clip of the attack went viral on social media platforms drawing sharp criticism from rights groups and activists.