PESHAWAR: The residents of a mohalla sited in the heart of old part of the city have resented the ongoing demolition of an ancient Hindu temple and the plan to erect a commercial plaza on the land of this heritage structure.
Several inhabitants of Mohallah Wangri Garan, near Ghanta Ghar at Karimpura told The News that the ancient Hindu temple located in their neighbourhood was being demolished secretly in the name of repair. They said the process started some 10 days and is going on without any let or hindrance.
“It is a pity that a criminal act of pulling down a heritage structure has been launched. The building is being knocked down clandestinely to erect a commercial plaza on the site. There is no action from any of the government departments which are supposed to protect such buildings,” lamented a resident, who requested to remain anonymous.
Another inhabitant said it was a double-criminal act. “On the one hand an ancient building is being demolished while on the other a commercial plaza is set to be constructed on its land in a purely residential area,” he added.
The locals questioned the criminal silence of the relevant government departments over the entire episode.The residents deplored that at a time when the demolition of a heritage building has been launched , there is no action by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Auqaf Department dealing with the non-Muslim properties and the Archaeology Department – the departments tasked with protecting such properties.
“Either these departments are a partner in the crime or they are negligent,” remarked a citizen. Demanding an immediate halt to the demolition process, the residents demanded ETPB Chairman Saddique-ul-Farooq to order a probe into the issue to bring to justice the government officials whose negligence or tacit approval had put in danger an ancient Hindu temple.