Lahore: A Pakistani court has issued a contempt notice to two Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) members and a Punjab police official for forcibly evicting the country’s first Sikh police officer and his family from their home.
Gulab Singh Shaheen had on Wednesday claimed in a video that he was forcibly evicted from his home in Lahore’s Dera Chahal village, along with his wife and children, following a property dispute with the ETPB.
Shaheen moved court after the police refused to register a case against two board members and a police inspector. The Lahore Sessions Court issued the notice to the ETPB officials and Punjab police inspector Imtiaz Ahmed for evicting the traffic warden and his family when a case in this regard was pending in the court “In spite of the fact that a case has been pending in the session court the officials of the ETPB and police Inspector Imtiaz raided my house on July 10 and forcibly evicted us, declaring that it is as a ETPB property,” Shaheen told PTI ton Thursday.
He claimed that the board officials and the police inspector had tortured him and broke his arm. “On refusal of police to register a case against them (board members and inspector) I have moved court to get justice,” he said, adding that he has also filed an application with his department’s chief Malik Liaqut seeking his help.
Singh said he had been living at his home since 1996. “The ETBP is now justifying its action on the basis that this land is part of the gurudwara’s Langar Hall. My grandfather had been living here since 1947 and the board had no right to seal my house despite the case pending in the court of law,” Shaheen said, adding that the ETPB took the help of a notorious police official to get the house vacated as it had no order of the court or magistrate in this respect.
Pakistan’s only Sikh warden in the Punjab Traffic Police joined the service in 2006. He also alleged that the police also humiliated his father, wife and his three children.
“I am hopeful to get justice in the court,” he said.
Meanwhile, an ETPB spokesperson denied any torture on Shaheen his family members or his forcible eviction.
“The board officials sealed Gulab Singh’s residence after issuing at least three notices to him. This place is a Langar Hall of Gurudwara Bebey Nankey and Singh had illegally occupied it. On his failure to comply with the board’s notices we have taken action and sealed the place,” ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi told PTI.
He said the Sikh community has welcomed the board’s step. “In fact the Sikh community here had filed applications with the board to get the occupied Langar Hall retrieved from the illegal occupants,” he said.
Established in 1960, the ETPB is a statutory body of the Pakistan government, which administers evacuee properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs attached to religious, charitable or educational trusts, left behind by Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to India after the 1947 partition of India. (PTI)