By Tuesday evening Archaeology and Museums Dept. personnel could count only 19,000 tiny iron balls.

The issue surrounding the armoury of the Qutb Shahi kings at Golconda is getting curious by the day. Two days after verification of the articles stored in Shamsheer Kotha in Golconda commenced, the authorities are still not in a position to say what has been stolen. By Tuesday evening personnel of the Archaeology and Museums Department could count only 19,000 tiny iron balls. “We thought we could complete the verification process today but it is far from complete,” admits G.V. Ramakrishna Rao, in charge director, Archaeology and Museums.

Divergence of opinion

The apathy of officials in taking stock of the contents of Shamsheer Kotha stands out. Most of them are averse to the idea of counting the iron balls which are very large in number. They feel recording the gunny bags containing the iron balls would be better. There is also a huge pile of chest plates and empty shells made of thin iron in which the iron balls were packed before firing. Four persons, including the deputy director and assistant director, Museums, a caretaker and a maistry are on the job.

Victim of neglect

Shamsheer Kotha, the monument-cum-store room, is a victim of official neglect. Nearby residents say they never saw anybody entering the premises. Officials also admit to the indifference of the caretaker in keeping a proper vigil. Apart from growth of wild grass, the place is infested with reptiles and this has slowed down the verification process, it is said.