News

Land-grabbers damage centuries old graves

Dawn News

June 1,2012

A fourmember team of the archaeology department headed by its director Qasim Ali Qasim inspected on Thursday an area in the five-century-old Eidgah and graveyard in Makli which had been encroached upon by land-grabbers. The land-grabbers have caused irreparable damage to the old graves built with carved stone with concrete foundations. A number of people of the area and members of civil society told this correspondent that `influential office-bearers of the ruling party are behind the land encroachment`. Mr Qasim said Sindh Culture Minister SassuiPalijo has formed a committee to report on the incident for action to be taken to protect the site. The team comprising curator of Makli Necropolis Dr ZaheeruddinShar, Assistant Director Culture Department Mohammad Ali Qadri and Abdul Qadir Khan found THAT a number of graves with Arabic and Persian inscriptions had been bulldozed and excavated and concrete foundations had been erected around them.Chief of Kalmat tribe Malik Lugman Khan Malkani told journalists that there were graves of Jokhia and Kalmati tribal warriors buried in 1203 Hijra besides those of Preacha`s, LakyarSyed`s, TankaiMemon, Shora, Khudai and others. The well maintained Eidgaah is still in use and thousand of people offer Eid prayers every year. Malik Lugman, a member of the PPP Sindh council, said that elements enjoying political patronage had encroached upon the historical site around the shrines of Makhdoom Mohammad HashimThattvi, MakhdoomMoinThattvi to SRTC Colony and Makli Cooperative Hashimabad Society. He said the administration had ignored the land grabbing and encroachment. He would raise the matter at the appropriate level, he said. Deputy Commissioner Dr Hafeez Siyal said he was in contact with the culture department over the issue. FIRs had already been lodged against the encroachers and action was being taken to remove encroachments from the historical site.

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