Vandals demolish historical 'Guru Nanak Palace' in Pakistan's Punjab
28 May 2019
The centuries-old Guru Nanak Palace in Pakistan’s Punjab province was demolished by a group of vandals with the connivance of the Auqaf Board and sold its antique windows, doors and ventilators.
The walls of the four-storey building had pictures of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism as well as of various Hindu rulers and princes, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Sikh pilgrims from across the world, including India, used to visit the four centuries-old `Palace of Baba Guru Nanak’, the report said.
The structure situated at a village in Narowal city, about 100 km from the provincial capital Lahore, had 16 rooms with each of them having at least three delicate doors and at least four ventilators, it said.
The building was constructed using old bricks, sand, clay and limestone. The rooms were large with broad walls and cupboards that had carved wooden doors. All the rooms were airy and their walls had small lamp enclosures in them. Expensive diyar wood beams of various sizes were used in the roofs, it said.
However, authorities have no record of its 'owner'.
"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," reports quoted a local resident Muhammad Aslam as saying.
He also cited the instance of a six-member delegation from Canada, including a woman carrying a book with information about the historical building, visiting the place.
The delegation was elated upon visiting the site as if they had found a treasure, he said.
"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. 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," another local Muhammad Ashraf said.
Dawn news said its efforts to locate the owner and find out its legal status and find out which government agency maintained its record were in vain. The newspaper said it 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.