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— Dawn
— Dawn

SAHIWAL: Archeology Director General Ijaz Ahmed on a citizen’s complaint took notice of digging at the historical Tibba Talwara and asked the Lodhran deputy commissioner to stop illegal activity.

Tibba Tilwara (Tibba means mound in Punjabi) has an archeological and historical value but it is not protected under the Antiquity Act 1976 while the state has not purchased it from the people who own the land. Some locals have started lifting earth from the mound to use it for construction purposes.

Harappa Museum curator Hasan Khokhar told Dawn that though Mound Talwara had not been preserved under the Antiquity Act 1976, it had an archeological value. He said the illegal excavation and lifting of earth would destroy the archeological evidences associated with Tibba.

Waris Malik, president of Lok Seva, Lodhran, had approached Harappa Museum officials on March 1 and informed them about lifting of earth.

At this, Mr Hasan wrote to the Archeology DG and Multan commissioner about the illegal digging. The DG asked Lodhran DC to stop all kinds of digging at the site.

Lodhran Assistant Commissioner Tayyab Khan said all kinds of excavation at historical mound had been stopped.

Tibba Talwara is in the east of Lodhran and it is spread over 32 acre piece of land. The mound was basically Fort Talwara which was last rebuilt 1,300 years ago by the descendents of Bhatti King Mangal Rao. Some people say that it was built by Ashoka. According to Lodhran, a book by Taqi Shamim, Fort Talwara was named after Tawara (232-273 BC), one of the sons of Ashoka.

The fort was called Tawara but after its invasion by Bhattis, its name was changed to Talwara. It was once the headquarters of Bhatti kings who were defeated by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and they fled to the area in south of Multan.

Tareekh-i-Yamini, written by Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbaru-l ‘Utbi, which chronicled the exploits of Mahmud until 1020AD, described the Fort Talwara as surrounded by River Bias. The same fort was stated to be captured by Raja Dahir in 7th century.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2018