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Miani Sahib neglected

February 08, 2013

Email

SEVERAL graves in the low-lying portion of Miani Sahib, the oldest and largest graveyard of Lahore, were buried under the rubble of the Metro Bus project. People came to know about this … incident when they visited Miani Sahib to offer fateha and lay wreaths on the graves of their near and dear ones. Only last month, the district coordination officer (DCO) … inspected the graveyard and directed the officials concerned to improve arrangements there. The DCO ordered that the practice of getting space reserved for graves should be done away with and all bookings should be cancelled immediately. He also directed that the … low-lying area of the graveyard, adjacent to Mozang, should be filled with earth and levelled.

The administration did not bother to take measures to secure the existing graves in the 20-feet-deep portion. Instead, it started filling the … portion with debris and leftover construction material of the Metro Bus project. … The graves were covered under the rubble as a result. The DCO had also directed the officials concerned to include a nearby illegal park in the graveyard but … his orders were ignored. At present, tearful relatives visit the place and curse the administration almost on a daily basis.

Sanctity of graveyards is especially respected in our society; visiting graves to offer fateha and for Quran khwani is part and parcel of our traditions.  … Keeping in view public interest and welfare, the DCO had rightfully issued directions but the officials responsible [ignored] them. … The district administration should take appropriate steps on an emergency basis to rectify its mistake and incompetence.—(Feb 6)

Selected and translated by Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui.