Get Safidon Fort vacated, HC tells state

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed the Haryana Government to ensure the Safidon Fort was vacated by the police. For the purpose, the Bench set a three-week deadline.

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed the Haryana Government to ensure the Safidon Fort was vacated by the police. For the purpose, the Bench set a three-week deadline.

The Bench also directed the government to file a detailed affidavit on the outcome of the surveys carried out by the Archaeological Department of ancient buildings for declaring these protected as monuments. The Bench further directed the state to give a complete roadmap for conducting surveys of the remaining buildings.

The Bench, in September last year, had asked the state to ensure vacation of three police stations operating from ancient monuments in Safidon, Ballabhgarh and Raina, near Sirsa. The directions by Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli came on a petition filed in public interest by Yash Pal Gulia, Haryana PWD retired Subdivisional Engineer through counsel HC Arora.

He was seeking directions for the Haryana Government and the Archaeological Survey of India to survey and inspect all ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains located within the state before initiating steps for their preservation and maintenance as protected monuments. Appearing before the Bench, Arora referred to an affidavit on behalf of the Haryana DG, Archaeology and Museums Department by Dr Parveen Kumar. Among other things, it said the Ballabhgarh Fort, Safidon Fort and Raina Fortress in occupation of local police stations were required to be vacated so that the ancient monuments could be considered for declaring protected monuments.

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