Petition in J

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Srinagar, Apr 20 (UNI) Concerned over the alleged indifferent attitude of the state government towards the cultural heritage of Kashmir, the Valley Citizen Council (VCC) has filed a petition before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court (JKHC) seeking appropriate directions for the protection and conservation of artifacts monuments and excavation sites.

A 12-page petition filed by VCC General Secretary Imdad Saqi through a team of counsels including Touseef Ahmad Khan, Adil Mushtaq Banday and Tufail Qadri alleged that he was filing the petition under Article 226 of the constitution of India read with section 103 of Jammu and Kashmir State constitution for issuance of direction for conservation, protection and safe keeping and making the respondents accountable and transparent with regard to ancient and medieval artifacts, excavation and sites and heritage monuments.

Besides Jammu and Kashmir and central governments, the petition resoibdebts has made Archaeological survey of India, Archaeological department, Srinagar, Language, J&K Art and cultural academy and department Archaeology and archives university of Kashmir.

Mr Saqi said the about a century old SPS museum was in such pathetic condition that the artifacts it houses can hardly survive the threats of time.

He said the treasure hunters and robbers plunder the museum whenever a chance comes their way and the articles which are away from their evil eyes have now fallen prey to rust and decay.

The museum houses some exceptionally rare Hindu sculptures from second to seventh century, the petition said and added the canons of Dogra period are subjected to weathering by scattering them in the museum garden without any protection.

He said the other such archaeological finds include a 4th century bronze frame depicting all incarnations of Lord Vaishnue, a massive fourth century Shivalingam and numerous old coins and weaponry.

The legacy of Kashmir's ancient and medieval past will be wiped off for ever if the present situation is not brought under control.

The petition further said the present negligent scenario is the treatment that is being done by the archaeological excavations and artifacts of Kashmiri's rich heritage and alleged that 84 rare coins went missing from the SPS museum.

He said about 8 gold and 76 silver coins were also reported to be missing while the remaining coins were stored in an unscientific and insecure procedure.

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