SIALKOT - The renovation of the historic Hindu temple Shawala Teja Singh began under Pakistan government’s project to rehabilitate and preserve this Hindu temple in its original design and shape.

The Hindus performed religious rituals there at Shawala Teja Singh Temple before start of the renovation. They also distributed sweets on the occasion.

In the first phase, an iron gate has been installed at the main entrance of the temple while a boundary wall will also be established for the safety of the temple.

According to Chairman of Punjab Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Dr Amir Ahmed, the government has released special development funds of Rs5 million for the renovation of the temple.

The ETPB officials said that the project would be completed within a stipulated period of next three months (till the end of November 2019) under the supervision of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Punjab.

Meanwhile, the local Hindu leaders Rattan Lal, Ramaish Kumar, Dr Munawar Chand, Amarnath Randhawa and Pandit Kashi Ram, after performing worship and religious rituals at the temple, highly hailed and welcomed the renovation of the Hindu temple. They said that early renovation of the temple building and its preservation in its original shape and design was direly needed.

The Hindu leaders said that the building of this abandoned historic temple was badly damaged by the outraged mob of the Muslims after the demolition of Babari Mosque by the Hindus in India in December 1992.

Located at Mohallah Dhaarowal-Circular Road here, the Hindu temple had been lying closed for the Hindus before the creation of Pakistan. The Hindu community had a very pressing demand for the rehabilitation and reopening of temple by the Government of Pakistan.

The Hindu community in Sialkot region said that reopening of the temple stood testimony to the fact that minorities were enjoying complete religious freedom in Pakistan. They added that Pakistani government was making all-out sincere efforts to ensure the provision of basic rights and religious freedom for the minorities in Pakistan.

Local Hindu leaders - Rattan Lal, Ramaish Kumar, Dr Munawar Chand, Amarnath Randhawa and Pandit Kashi Ram stressed a need for the promotion of religious harmony to establish durable peace.

On July 02, 2019, the Pakistani government had reopened Shawala Teja Singh Temple in Sialkot for the Hindu community to worship there after its 72 years long closure. Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Punjab had hosted a prestigious welcoming ceremony at the temple to greet Hindu community on the reopening.

In Sialkot, the jubilant Hindus distributed sweets and greeted each other. They thanked the Pakistani government for this reopening.