Amritsar, January 10. Local historian Surinder Kochhar today claimed that an ancestral haveli of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is being demolished in Gujranwala township of Pakistan to clear the land for construction of a commercial plaza.
Kochhar claimed that he was informed about the move by his Gurjanwala-based friend Mohammad Kasim Rafeeq, who lives in the vicinity of the old building. Rafeeq called him up on his mobile phone this morning.
He added that the building was damaged by armed goons despite local residents trying to resist the move. The residents were reportedly threatened with dire consequences. He claimed that the building had earlier been given a heritage status by the Heritage Department of the Pakistan government. He claimed that a leader of the Muslim League had played a key role in the demolition of the building.
Kochhar said he had stayed in the said building for two days during his visit to Gujranwala. “Earlier, the building housed a police station which was shifted out around two years ago. Later, as the building was not cared for properly by the department, it turned into a safe haven for drug addicts and other anti-social elements,” he claimed.
SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh said they would talk to Sikh leaders in Pakistan and find out the status of the building, besides approaching the Centre to utilise diplomatic channels to take up the issue with Pakistan. (TNS)