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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Lunatic vandalises Khusro's tomb

The Milli Gazette Online

New Delhi: The tomb of thirteenth century poet Amir Khusro was vandalised by a 35-year old mentally unstable man on February 8. The tomb is situated at Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah, south Delhi, the tomb of sufi saint Nizamuddin Aulia.

The accused, Mohammad Bakul Khan, a rice and coal wholesaler from Malda area of West Bengal, reportedly managed to break six of the 24 intricately carved marble screen walls surrounding Khusro’s tomb beside damaging some light fixtures and marble slabs on the minaret of the tomb.

Local residents said that Khan first locked himself in the room and started destroying the grave and when they managed to get him out, he jumped on top of the roof and broke the finials.

Amir Khusro, Nizamuddin Auliya’s most faithful disciple, chose to be buried in the same complex in which the saint was laid to rest. Soon after the incident ASI officials visited the tomb. They said that they had just replaced some of the finials on the tombs and that now they will have to replace them again.

The Nizamuddin dargah has been mired in controversy for a long time. People coming to dargah complain of fleecing by touts and uncleanliness all around. There is lax security and only few security guards are posted there. Only when VVIPs visit the dargah the police personnel are deployed. "There is no arrangement for security. Thousands visit the spot but no attempt is made to control the crowd," said a shopkeeper.
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