A petition has been filed in a Pakistani court against “secret demolition” of a 150-year-old non-functional Hindu temple being carried out in Peshawar’s old city to build a commercial plaza, a media report said today.
The petition filed yesterday in the Peshawar High Court by two Pakistanis seeks orders to place the ancient structure under the administrative control of the archeology department.
The petitioners, Muhibur Rehman and Waqif Saleem advocate, said the “issue of the alleged changes made to the temple’s building” was reported few months ago following which the government had sealed the property and arrested two tenants.
However, “those elements in connivance with the evacuee trust properties department had resumed the temple’s demolition to construct a plaza there”, the Dawn reported, quoting the petitioners.
The petitioners added that different newspapers had reported, along with pictures, that the ancient Hindu temple located in Mohallah Wangrhi Garah in Karimpura locality was being secretly demolished so a commercial plaza could be constructed there.
They also quoted the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s spokesman as saying after the reports that “the government had taken step as the Constitution guarantees equal rights to the minorities and protection of their religious places.
“The temple is as reserved for us as for the minority communities and we cannot tolerate its demolition.”
The petitioners said the deputy commissioner along with archaeology director Dr. Abdul Samad Khan had visited the temple and formally sealed its premises.
However, it appeared that all those officials could not stop the influential elements from demolishing temples, they claimed.
They added that the temple in question was over one-and- a-half century old and its structure still appeared fresh and firm.