LAHORE – Pakistan’s first Sikh police officer Gulab Singh Shaheen says he was forcibly evicted from his house in Lahore’s Dera Chahal along with his children and wife, following a property dispute with the government.
Taking to social media on Tuesday, Singh claims he was evicted by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), the parent body of Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC).
“My turban was forced open and hair was untied,” Singh says in one of the videos he shared on Facebook.
In a video, Singh can be seen pleading to police to give him ‘at least 10 minutes’ to be in the place where they have been staying since 1947.
Singh, later, told the media that ETPB secretary Tariq Wazir thrashed him.
He has also appealed to Sikhs across the world to help him and take note of disrespect to a Sikh’s hair and turban.
In 2011, Gulab Singh had filed a case against Syed Asif Akhtar Hashmi for illegal selling of the Gurudwara property. In February 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan held Hashmi, then Chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), responsible for illegal selling of gurudwara lands.
On the other hand, the ETPB maintains Gulab Singh had illegally occupied the ‘Langar’ Hall of Gurdwara Janum Asthan “Bebe Nanaki Dera Chahil”, which was vacated by an anti-encroachment team on Tuesday.
“After a complete inquiry, ETPB Secretary Muhammad Tariq Wazir constituted a team comprising Deputy Administrator Lahore Akram Joya, Waheed Khan, which got vacated the hall with the help of police,” the Board said in a statement, adding that the Sikh community has appreciated the ETPB step.
Evacuee Trust Property Board, established in 1960, is a statutory board of the Government of Pakistan, 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 1947 partition of India.