New Delhi: The
demolition of a portion of former Pakistani president Pervez
Musharraf's ancestral home, Neharwali Haveli in Old Delhi's
Daryaganj, has stirred a row with the legality of the construction
coming under question.
Archaeological experts say that while the building could be a
heritage property, currently there is no protective law for such
"We have been demanding a law that protects any building of any
age, which is considered archaeologically, politically or
historically important but at present, there is no such law,"
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
Chairman, Maj. Gen. (Retd) L.K. Gupta said.
Located behind Daryaganj's famous Golcha cinema, the Haveli, which
occupies a large area at the end of the street, is no longer a
single structure but a group of different houses as the portions
were bought by new owners from time to time and constructed anew.
The central portion, where some of the dilapidated walls of the
original structure can still be seen, was demolished earlier this
year to make way for a residential project, according to the
According to the locals, Musharraf's family left the Haveli in the
custody of a Jain family, members of which still live in some
portions of the old Haveli. However, they refused to comment on
"I was completely shocked. I came to know of the demolition only
now and I am surprised how someone could demolish the Neharwali
Haveli," local legislator Shoaib Iqbal said.
"The Haveli is a heritage building. The residents or owners of any
such property can not demolish or change any sections," he
"When the work was initially started, the police came and stopped
the construction but the developers had all the relevant paperwork
and the construction restarted," one of the shopkeepers said, on
condition of anonymity.
"This (demolished) portion was already in a crumbling state with
only a couple of rooms intact," he added.
The architect of the project, Abdul Wahid, claimed that the
project was purely residential. However, he refused to divulge the
details of the developers.