Officials blamed for ‘illegally’ demolishing 17 shops terming them as encroachments
Officials of the Department of Archaeology and Museums had to beat a retreat without erecting the fence at the entrance of the Badshahi Ashoorkhana for the second day on Monday. Protest by the Charminar legislator, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, along with his supporters forced the authorities to call off the operation.
On Sunday also the authorities tried unsuccessfully to erect the fence as the police could not provide protection. On Monday P. Gayatri, Director, Archaeology and Museums, along with officials came to the Ashoorkhana around 11 in the morning and started the work of digging the foundation. Soon Mr. Quadri accompanied by his supporters came to the protected monument and argued that the area proposed to be fenced did not belong to the Department and hence there was no question of fencing it.
He contested the department’s claim that it was fencing the chabutra and guard room area which was earlier cleared of encroachments. “The chabutra and guard room are inside the Ashoorkhana and not outside. I have the original plan of the Nizam to prove it,” Mr. Quadri said.
He asked the officials to show the fencing order and when the latter failed to produce it he said they cannot proceed further. Officials, however, maintained that the area was very much part of the Badshahi Ashoorkhana.
Police tried in vain to convince the MLA. The police force was in good strength and still the officials couldn’t carry out the work.
Thereafter, the Archeology officials and the Bahadurpura MRO contacted the Hyderabad Collector S.M. Rizvi and the latter offered to sort out the matter. He asked the officials to defer the work for the time being.
However, after Mr. Quadri left, officials put up the ‘protected monument’ board in the area proposed to be fenced. On learning this, Mr. Quadri rushed back and staged a sit-in demonstration with his supporters throwing the traffic out of gear. The police later removed the board.
“The police was all supportive and it was only the MLA who did not cooperate. We have all the documents to show that the land we plan to fence is part of the Ashoorkhana,” said Ms. Gayatri.
Mr. Quadri blamed the department for ‘illegally’ demolishing 17 shops terming them as encroachments. “In fact the Nizam had constructed the shops himself and there is proof of it,” he said.