Peshawar, Jan 17: Timely action by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archives department saved the birthplace of legendary Bollywood actor-director Raj Kapoor from total demolition after its owner partially damaged the first storey of the house in this northwestern city of Pakistan.
The Archives department obtained stay from the local court to save the demolition of the historic 'Haveli' situated at Dhaki Munawar Shah of the walled city.
However, the new owner by the time had pulled down the first storey of the building for construction of a commercial plaza on it.
The doors and window panes at second and third floors have also been removed. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had earlier declared the houses of Peshawar-born Bollywood actors Kapoor and Dilip Kumar as heritage to protect and preserve them.
The Archives officials said they sought police help to halt the razing of the house. They took into custody the labourers who were later freed. Kapoor's father Prithviraj Kapoor had constructed this house in 1920, where the "Mera Naam Joker" and his siblings were born.
The Kapoor family later shifted to India after Partition. During the previous ANP government in KP, the house was declared National heritage but no cogent step was taken to preserve it.
Kapoor's actor son, Rishi Kapoor took to twitter to thank people of Pakistan resisting the demolition but said since the property belongs to the country, they don't have a say in it. "Thank you for your gesture but that property belongs to the Pakistani Govt. and it is entirely up to them to decide," Rishi wrote.