FIR against owners of Raj Kapoor's haveli in Pakistan

Peshawar: Pakistani authorities have lodged an FIR against the new owners of legendary Bollywood actor-director Raj Kapoor’s historic family haveli for demolishing the building which is a national heritage site.

The haveli in Peshawar. Pic/Wikipedia
The haveli in Peshawar. Pic/Wikipedia

The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums on Sunday lodged the FIR at Khan Raziq police station against the owners of the nearly century-old haveli situated at Dhaki Munawar Shah.

The new owners of the building had pulled down its first storey for construction of a commercial plaza on it. The doors and window panes on the second and third floors were also removed last week.

On Saturday, the Archives department obtained a stay from a local court to save the demolition of the historic haveli. Also, Peshawar Museum in-charge Nawazuddin filed a case against homeowners Israr, Ali Qadir and Hassan Qadir for violating the K-P Antiquities Act 1997 under which more than 70 years old buildings cannot be changed without the consent of the government as well as the archaeology department.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has declared the houses of Peshawar-born Bollywood actors Kapoor and Dilip Kumar as heritage to protect and preserve them.

Kapoor’s father Prithviraj Kapoor had constructed this house in 1920, where the ‘Mera Naam Joker’ star and his siblings were born.

The Kapoor family later shifted to India after Partition. During the previous Awami National Party government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the house was declared National heritage but no cogent step was taken to preserve it.

Meanwhile, a process claiming to secure the building was under way and officials said the owners committed a crime by violating the antiquity law. The provincial administration had earlier tried to buy the house to convert it into a museum but the plan could not come through.

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