Pakistan’s ETPB along with some hardliners have locked the Gurudwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh and claimed that the structure is a mosque.
The gurudwara is located in an area called Naloukha, just outside the walled city of Lahore (Photo: The Dawn)
Satendra ChauhanPakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has closed Lahore-based Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh for worship, claiming it to be a mosque. Pakistan’s ETPB along with some hardliners have locked the gurdwara, angering the Sikh community in the Islamic nation.
According to the report of Dawn, there is a dispute going on for a long time regarding the Gurudwara located in Lahore. Reports say that a large number of devotees visit this gurdwara every day and recite the Guru Granth Sahib.
The gurdwara, located in the Shaheed Ganj Naloukha area, has a long and tumultuous history, which has been a bone of contention between the city’s Sikhs and Muslims.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has locked a gurdwara and claimed it to be a mosque. A similar incident came to light two years ago when a prominent gurdwara was declared a mosque, following which Indian authorities intervened and lodged a protest. India had then said that the gurudwara is a place of reverence and the Sikh community considers it ‘sacred’.
What is controversy?
The gurudwara is situated a little outside the walled city of Lahore in an area called Nalaukha, which is believed to have once been the famous palace of Prince Dara Shikoh. Reports state that Shikoh had served as the governor of Lahore before his assassination at the hands of his younger brother, Aurangzeb.
Sikhs believe that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children of this community were massacred on the orders of Mir Mannu, the governor of Lahore and representative of the Mughal Empire.
The Sikhs claim that Mir Mannu himself allowed them to set up a Gurdwara here when they agreed to help them in the conquest of Multan at the behest of Diwan Kaur Mal, which resulted in Mir Mannu being given the charge of Multan. Was gone, mentioned in the report.
However, Muslims maintain that the Sikhs forcibly took over the mosque, which was functional after the fall of the Mughal Empire, when it came to power in Lahore.