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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Centuries old Guru Nanak palace partially demolished in Pak’s Narowal: Report

The thick walls surrounding the palace had intricately painted pictures of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism; as well as of various Hindu rulers and princes.

world Updated: May 28, 2019 07:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A group of locals in Pakistan’s Narowal partially demolished a four-storey centuries-old Guru Nanak palace
A group of locals in Pakistan’s Narowal partially demolished a four-storey centuries-old Guru Nanak palace(Dawn.com)
         

A group of locals in Pakistan’s Narowal partially demolished a four-storey centuries-old Guru Nanak palace, website Dawn.com reported. The vandals sold its precious windows, doors and ventilators, the report added.

The thick walls surrounding the palace had intricately painted pictures of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism; as well as of various Hindu rulers and princes.

The bricks, sand, clay and limestone structure in village Banthawala has 16 large rooms all of which have three doors and at least four ventilators.

A local resident, Muhammad Aslam, said: “This old building is called the Palace of Baba Guru Nanak and we have named it Mahalan. A number of Sikhs from across the world, including India, used to visit this building,” the website reported

The Pakistani website quoted another local, Muhammad Ashraf, as saying: “The auqaf department was informed about the demolition of the building by some influential persons, but no officer or official took any action or even reached here.”

He also claimed: “Three storeys of the building have already been demolished and new houses constructed. The influentials have demolished the building with the connivance of the auqaf department and sold its costly windows, doors, ventilators and wood,” the Dawn.com reported

In a bid to determine its legal status, locate its owners or find out which government agency maintained its record, Dawn news reached out to various authorities from the deputy commissioner, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to the family that lived in the building but to no avail.

Narowal Deputy Commissioner Waheed Asghar, in charge of the record of all properties in the region said: “There is no mention of this building in the revenue record. As it seemed to be historical, we are checking the municipal committee’s record”.

ETPB Sialkot zone Rent Collector Rana Waheed said: “Our team is investigating the Guru Nanak Mahal Bathanwala. If this palace was the property of Evacuee Trust Property Board, legal action will be taken against those responsible”.

The people in the area requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against those responsible.