The Punjab and Haryana High Court today sought the Haryana government's stand on a plea to inspect all the ancient monuments and archaeological sites in the state and to take steps to maintain and preserve them.
The bench issued notices on a plea by former Sub Divisional Officer Yashpal Gulia for seeking protection of various ancient monuments.
The petitioner, who had authored 'Heritage of Haryana' in 2012, stated in his petition that he has visited all such ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains in Haryana.
He enclosed photographs of 63 such structures, which reveal that most of such structures have been encroached upon by private persons, while some are occupied by private schools, some by dairy owners and some by police department.
An ancient tomb at Ferozepur Jhirka (Mewat) has been occupied by a school, French Memorial at Jhasra (Guegaon) is also under encroachment, a huge memorial at Rohtak is occupied by a dairy owner, a fort at Safidon is occupied by Police Department, the petition said.
Petitioner's counsel H C Arora referred to photographs of some structures, saying they have been defaced and their antique value has been destroyed by the NGO, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi) in the name of preservation thereof.
He also produced photographs of many structures which are on the verge of collapsing and they include Palace of Nawab, Jhajjar, Palace of Nawab Dujana (District-Jhajjar), a fortress at Islampur (District, Narnaul), a British palace at Hisar, Gateway of Panipat.
The petitioner has, therefore, prayed that authorisation given to the INTACH for preservation and maintenance of these ancient monuments be withdrawn.