Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Maharaja Sher Singh's baradari in Lahore becomes 'waste dump'.

Even as Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) chairman Sayed Asif Hashmi, who was in India in the last week of November, made big claims about protection and maintenance of properties related to Sikh heritage, reports have suggested glaring misuse of Maharaja Sher Singh's "baradari" in Lahore, which is allegedly being used as a waste dump.

Maharaja Sher Singh was the third son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, founder of Sikh empire. Maharaja Sher Singh had ruled from 1841 till his death. His Baradari is situated on the outskirts of Kot Khwaja Saeed locality in Lahore and remains neglected for decades.

The Baradari was also attacked in 1992 in the aftermath of Babri mosque demolition in India. Perturbed over reports of misuse of Baradari, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Paramjit Singh Sarna, has shot off a missive to Hashmi to take notice of attempts at disgracing the historical building.

Talking to TOI on Tuesday, Sarna said he had taken up the issue with Hashmi. According to reports, Pakistan's solid waste management department had constructed a waste enclosure after demolishing a corner of the Baradari, he said.

Sarna expressed hope that PETPB would take up the issue with the government there and restore the glory of decaying Baradari.

According to historian Surinder Kochhar, there was a tomb of Maharaja Sher Singh which also remains neglected and had become a place of shelter for stray dogs and cats.

He said Maharaja Sher Singh was shot dead here by Ajit Singh, a relative of the Maharaja. He said even the bullet marks have been erased, which was unfortunate. Keeping in view the historical significance of Baradari, which was also known as Baradari of Shah Belowal, a Sufi saint, Kochhar said concerned Sikh bodies should impress upon Pakistan government about the need to preserve the Baradari.

AMRITSAR: Yudhvir Rana, TNN | Dec 14, 2011

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