- Senior minister directs authorities to take action over violation of Archeology Act 2016
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police has lodged an FIR over demolition of a historical house in Peshawar city, charging owner and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for granting approval.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of Khan Raziq Police Station registered the FIR as the house is located in its jurisdiction. The house, a fine architectural building located close to the Dhaki Munawar Shah near Raj Kapoor’s house constructed in period from 1830 to 1860, was razed to the ground by its owner for purpose of constructing commercial plaza.
The issue was raised on social media on October 11 by a civil society activist Dr Ali Jan who is also a heritage lover and lobbies for preservation of rich past architectural glory of Peshawar city. Senior Minister Atif Khan also took notice of the incident and directed the authorities concerned for taking action over violation of the Archeology Act 2016.
According to an office order of the Evacuee Trust Property Board duly signed by ETPB Deputy Administration Asif Khan on July 2018, ETPB chairman had granted approval for demolition of the historic house to construct a commercial building. The FIR has been registered in response to an application submitted to SHO Khan Raziq Police Station by the Archeology Department on October 12.
It was the glory of Peshawar city and the Archeology Department intended to protect it under the Antiquity Act 2016, reads the application. In the application, it was mentioned that in the Archeology Act under sections 18 and 24 no person shall except for carrying out the purposes of this act, destroy, break, damage, alter, injure, deface, mutilate or scribble, write or engage any inscription or sign on any antiquity or take manure from any protected antiquity or important antiquity.
According to the act, whoever contravenes the provision of sub-section (1), shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine up to rupees two million or with both.