IHC orders govt not to damage graveyard

ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the government not to damage private graveyard which falls in the way of the multi-billion metro bus project.

During a hearing of a case related to possible damage that could be caused to the graveyard, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui remarked that he will not allow the desecration of the graves. The court ordered that the construction of the metro bus project should take place till the boundary of the graveyard, which is situated on a green belt on 9th Avenue. In executing the metro bus project in the capital, the twin cities’ municipal administrations face resistance from the owner of the graveyard.

A legal battle between Rawalpindi’s civic agency and the graveyard’s owner started after he obtained a stay order against possible demolition. The graveyard, owned by Raja Kaleem, is where his family members have been buried since 1945. Kaleem said that his family had relinquished their claim on compensation for ancestral land and asked Capital Development Authority (CDA) to let them retain ownership of the graveyard in 1960.

Kaleem had earlier said that his family members had been buried in the graveyard for decades. The first grave was of his grandfather Raja Gulab Khan, who died in 1945 and the last burial was of his father Raja Ghulam Hussain, who died in April 2013.

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