Produce evidence, FIR in Karachi Dharamshala encroachment: SC to FIA

The Supreme Court has instructed the Federal Investigation Agency to produce evidence and register an FIR against those responsible for encroaching land allotted to the 716-square-yard Hindu Dharamshala (a shelter for Hindu pilgrims) in Karachi’s Saddar.

At the hearing, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was told that a commercial plaza was being built on the land.

The chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board argued that the land dated back centuries and was abandoned for years. “Under these conditions, construction on it is allowed.”

The above statement left the chief justice visibly perturbed, and he said:. “Does this mean you will raze all old buildings in the city? You couldn’t even preserve a 90-year-old Dharamshala.”

The chief justice added that the government has constructed the historic Kartarpur Corridor and said that it is important to protect other minority spaces in the country too.

Earlier this year, the apex court has stopped the Sindh government from demolishing any part of the Dharamshala. The Karachi commissioner was further instructed to take over the building so that no person trespassed upon it.