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PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Tuesday directed the deputy commissioner to appear before the court and explain why no land has been acquired for crematorium for Sikh community in provincial capital despite the release of funds.

The order was issued by a two-judge bench comprising Justice Rooh UI Amin Khan and Justice Abdul Shakoor while hearing the writ petition submitted by Baba Ji Guru Gurpal Singh through senior lawyer Muhammad Khurshid Khan seeking court directions to the KP government to build a crematorium for Sikh and Hindu population in Peshawar.

During the hearing, an official of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) appeared before the bench and submitted that the board has released funds for crematorium for Hindu and Sikh population of the city. He added now it is the job of the deputy commissioner, Peshawar to allocate a suitable land.

After hearing the arguments, the bench directed the Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar to appear in person during the next hearing of the case and explain the issue to the bench.

The Peshawar High Court in June, last year, directed the DC and the ETPB to initiate the legal procedure for acquiring land for Shamshan Ghat or crematorium immediately and submit the report within a month time.

In his petition, Gurpal Singh submitted that the KP government had allocated funds for the establishment of Shamshan Ghat and ambulance for carrying the body, but the DC and the Department of Auqaf and Religious Affairs were employing delaying tactics in the utilisation of these funds for the establishment of Shamshan Ghat.

He added that the funds for Shamshan Ghat and vehicle had been transferred to the deputy commissioner, but no practical steps had been taken so far for execution of this important project for the Sikh and Hindu communities. The Sikh community said that in the absence of such facility, they have to take dead bodies to attack for cremation.