Ancient Hindu Temple in Mohalla Wangri Gran, Peshawar, Pakistan is being demolished secretly in the name of repair with a plan to build a commercial Mall in it’s land during February 2016.
Residents says that 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.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government reacted to the news and arrest couple of tenants who were illegally demolishing the building.
The government took the step as the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal rights to the minorities and protection of their religious places.
Now the place is sealed and further demolition stopped.
“The temple is as revered for us as for the minority community and we cannot tolerate its demolition ,” KP government’s spokesman Mushtaq Ghani said. He said that the provincial government had taken notice of media reports about the illegal reconstruction work, carried out by tenants in the historic temple.
Haroon Sarabdial, a representative of the Hindu community, said that all such temples, though non-functional, were revered places for Hindus. He called for protecting such buildings and handing over their possession to the community.
District head of the Evacuee Property Trust Board Asif Khan, said that the temple was non-functional. He, however, categorically declared that no one would be allowed to demolish non-functional temples.
There are many such temples destroyed all over Pakistan and in many areas, officials refuse to admit demolition and attribute the debris to demolished illegal residential houses.
Few years back, in Karachi’s Soldier Bazaar, 100 years old Shri Rama Pir Mandir was demolished by a private builder, assisted by The Military Estate Office.
Officials claim that the houses were encroachments and they were removed when a builder approached them to assist him in removing illegal occupants from his land. “The temple was already in a bad condition. The encroachers were asked to vacate the land but when they did not, action was taken against them. But the temple, which was already in bad shape, was not touched.”
During the operation, the police put all the deities in their vehicle and took away all the gold ornaments as well as the crown. While the other deities have been returned, the idol of Shankar Bhagwan and gold has yet to be given back.
However, police deny these claims about idol and gold.
There are many ancient hindu temples in pakistan, like the 1500 years old Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Karachi, Hinglaj Mata Mandir in Balochistan, Katasraj Mandir (Mahabharat Era) etc.