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Historic structures fall into decay

SANGHAR, May 17: Historical structures of Khenhwari military and police outposts in Khairpur district, 70km from here, have fallen into decay because of official neglect and vandalism by locals.

The structures were built in 1944 in the then Khairpur state on the orders of C. L. Corfield, a British official, in the wake of the Hur uprising.

The outposts have a historical significance by virtue of their construction as a strategic measure to crush the Hur movement for independence from British rule.

They were built after the Police Nazim of Khairpur state, Ghulam Rasool Shah, was killed by Hurs on Feb 14, 1942, for his alleged involvement in brutalities against them.

Six Hurs lost their lives in the assault and were buried in a mass grave that still existed near the outposts.

The police nazim had lodged at a rest house in Khenhwari to monitor action against the Hurs.

The outposts have combat-specific construction and architectural brilliance. They have large bricked walls, barns, bunkers and residential quarters for soldiers, wells and a depot for weapons.

High-quality timber was used in the construction. They have adequate storage facilities for food and water so that soldiers could fight long drawn out battles without any external aid.

The roofs have been vandalised by locals. Their main gates, windows and furniture have been stolen and other articles taken away.

The premises have turned wild with the growth of weeds and thorny bushes. Regrettably, they have been disowned by the relevant bodies of the government and individuals working on history and heritage.

Consequently, this colonial heritage will one day disappear because influential people have been robbing the structures of bricks.

A local resident told Dawn that some influential people were involved in the theft of material from the structures.

The president of Hur Historical Society, Mir Mohammad Nizamani, said that five years ago the structures had roofs and some furniture, too. He criticised the government for doing nothing to preserve a historic site.

Many historians have visited and written papers on their significance but neither the provincial culture department nor the archaeology department or any historical society had come forward to own them, he added.

He said the structures were spared vandalism till 1990 when the Khenhwari police station was housed in the irrigation rest house adjoining the structures.

He urged the government to take steps to restore the place to its old glory.