Dawn’s fake news about ‘Guru Nanak palace’ makes headlines in India
Dawn reported that the temple was 'demolished' by the locals.
News regarding the demolition of ‘Historical Guru Nanak palace’ spread like wildfire yesterday after local media source Dawn reported it.
According to the said media outlet, a group of locals partially demolished a four-storey centuries-old building that too with the connivance of Auqaf department officials and even sold its precious windows, doors and ventilators in Bathawala village, Narowal.
The news was condemned by Pakistanis as well as it made it to the international media, reported as ‘religious hate crime’. However, the irresponsible reporting that wreaked havoc on national, international and Indian media has little to no truth in it.
Locals had named the structure ‘Guru Nanak Palace’. But the officials from the Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) clarified that though the building is old and is a cultural heritage, it has no ties to Guru Nanak Devji. Hence, the demolition has no link with religious hate crimes because the place has no religious significance for any minority religion.
The building has 120 large and spacious rooms, from where the doors, windows and skylights have been removed. The pictures that went viral on social media showed the temple in a very vulnerable infrastructural state.
The news claimed that the palace was called ‘Mohalan’ and Sikhs from all over the world came to see it. Allegedly, the locals claimed that it was demolished to make way for people’s houses. However, the news was later debunked and even rejected by Pakistan’s Sikh community.
Sikh MPA Mahinder Pal Singh Rejected the claims made by Dawn:
Sikh Member Punjab Assembly (MPA) Mahindra Pal Singh posted a video requesting to stop the propagation of fake news. His video came after many significant Indian outlets had already picked on Dawn’s headline and the news went viral in the neighbouring country.
Singh clarified that the place that is being dubbed as ‘Guru Nanak Palace’ has no religious significance for them and is not a temple. He said that it is not affiliated with Guru Nanak and instead was built by a man named Nanak Singh, who exclusively made it for his own residence.
However, after partition, he left everything and migrated to India. Later, a Gujjar family from Narowal took over the place and they tried to do construction on that area but Government of Pakistan took swift action and took it in the custody. He added the final decision about it will be made after the investigations are concluded.
Mahindra Pal Singh said the purpose of making the video to request media agencies to stop sharing the fake news about Nanak palace being a religious site or a Gurdwara. He further said that media channels should verify before posting such sensitive news particularly.
Singh said that not only these fake news hurt the sentiments of Sikh community, but also decreases and damages the credibility of news outlets. He concluded the video saying in this crucial time when hate and fear have taken over, we need to spread love and positivity. Such news further creates an atmosphere of fear, which is the last time we need in the prevailing times.
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