Pakistan'sMinorities Welfare Council (MWC) has insisted that the only Hindu temple in Lahore has been demolished though the Government claims the structure is safe.
The MWC has got a stay from the High Court on the construction of a commercial building at the site of the temple.
In a petition to Lahore High Court, Secretary General of the Council, Om Prakash Narayan, has said that the Krishna Mandir in Lahore, has been demolished following a notification from the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) issued on March 9, 2006.
Narayan has asked the court to direct the police to register a case against ETPB Chairman and others in this connection. He also asked the court to order restoration of the temple in its original form, local daily, The Post reported.
In response to the petition, Justice Muhammad Akhtar Shabbir has directed the officials to stop the construction of a multi-story building purportedly being built at the site and sought a report from ETPB.
ETPB is in charge of the minority Sikh and Hindu religious properties in Pakistan.
Pakistan Foreign Office had earlier dismissed the razing of the Krishna Mandir as an incorrect report and had said the temple was safe.
?The only Krishna Mandir that exists in Lahore is safe and the temple referred to in press is not the Krishna Mandir but an abandoned property being used partly as residential and partly as commercial since the time of Independence,? the foreign office had said.
Petitioner'scounsel, Fawad Hussain said that Sohail Naseem, a resident of Lahore, has applied to the ETPB seeking explanation for the demolition of the ?historically? significant Hindu Temple.
Hussain, in his arguments said the management of minority shrines had been given to ETPB through an Act in 1975, adding that minority religious shrines were public property and according to the law, no public property big or small, tangible or intangible could be disposed off.
Meanwhile, Pakistan'sReligious Affairs Minister, Ejazul Haq, has said the temple is intact and invited BJP Leader L K Advani to pray there.
?The Krishna Mandir is in perfect condition. I invite L K Advani to visit Lahore and pray at the temple,? Haq was quoted as saying by the Daily Times.
Haq even said that Rs seven lakh had been spent on the renovation of Krishna Mandir a few months ago.
ETPB Chairman, Lt-Gen Zulfikar Ali Khan, rejected a newspaper report that the board had allowed a private developer to demolish Krishna Mandir to build a commercial building.
?The newspaper wrongly reported that Krishna Mandir was situated in the Wachhowali Bazaar in Rang Mahal. The property under discussion and claimed as temple is a disputed piece of land under the ETPB'scontrol,? he said.
Khan also said the developer, Khawaja Sohail Naseem, was constructing a building according to an agreement with the ETPB, adding the developer had not sold the property, as alleged.