A division bench of Peshawar High Court (PHC) Tuesday summoned Administrator Auqaf and Nazim Town One Peshawar for next hearing on May 31 in a writ petition filed by Sikh community over delay in establishment of ‘Shamshan Ghat’ (cremation ground) in Peshawar. The bench comprised of Justice Ikram Ullah Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali heard the case and adjourned hearing for May 31, next.
The petition has been filed by Baba Gurpal Singh, head of Sikh Community, through his lawyer Advocate Khurshid Khan. The petitioner alleged that provincial government has issued fund in millions of rupees for establishment of Shamshan Ghat and Christian graveyard, but the Auqaf department is using delaying tactics. They also complained that the community is not provided with ‘Hearse’ facility for carrying dead body for cremation.
Due to lack of proper land for cremation, the Sikh community has to take dead bodies to Attock district of Punjab for fulfilling the last rituals, they added. The petitioner submitted to the court that in Khyber Pakhtunkwa around 60,000 Sikhs are residing out of which around 15000 are in Peshawar city.
The counsel of petitioner expressed the fear that due to non implementation of government’s orders, the funds issued for establishment of cremation land would lapse. Public Prosecutor in his submission before the court said that delay in establishment of cremation land is because of dispute within the Sikh community. The bench after hearing arguments from both the sides adjourned case for May 31and summoned Administrator Auqaf along with Nazim Town One Peshawar.—APP