Cemetery of European 'mercenaries' in shambles

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Gwalior, Apr 10 : Cemetery of European mercenaries who fought for the Marathas in Gwalior is in shambles as authorities' show apathy in making proper arrangements for the upkeep of architecturally captivating graves.

The cemetery houses bodies of the European mercenaries who laid their lives for the Scindia rulers who in turn gave these heroes befitting abodes by erecting architecturally beautiful graves adorned with captivating epitaphs that display information about the deceased.

However, with the passage of time, the deeds of these soldiers has become the stuff of history books and the cemetery housing the graves of these brave men is totally neglected.

Apart from official apathy, local miscreants too have damaged the graves removing the stones from the graves.

Although these cemeteries draw the attention of visitors, the authorities are impressed with neither the beauty nor the historic importance of these graves.

"It is our responsibility to take steps for the conservation of graves in this cemetery. I have written to Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and the Archeological Department for the same. We need to take the initiative to save these graves of the soldiers," said H B Maheshwari, President of Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage.

Furthermore, since the cemetery has not been declared a national heritage, it does not come under the purview of Archeological Survey of India (ASI). Thus the condition of this place continues to deteriorate.

"In view of the fact that these graves have not been declared as a national heritage, the ASI could not do much about it. But since it is within our premises, we clean up the graveyard from time to time," informed Chaitanya Saxena, Deputy Director of Archeological Department.

It is the responsibility of the government and the local authorities to salvage this slice of history before it becomes too late. By Ashok

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