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Protected monument status sought for Anglo-Sikh war memorials

BATHINDA/FEROZEPUR: At a time when voices are being raised to convert Bhagat Singh’s Ferozepur hideout into a museum, demand has been made to declare four memorials associated with Anglo-Sikh war to be again notified as protected monuments of national importance. These structures at Mudki, Feroze Shah, Sabraon and Misriwala in Ferozepur district are in a state of severe neglect.

These places were notified as protected monuments during the English rule in 1918 but were de-notified in 1962 on the plea that these ceased to be of national importance. The issue was raised in 2006, during Captain Amarinder Singh’s previous tenure and a team of Union cultural affairs ministry had visited the spots. However, the matter was not followed up.
The structures were raised in the memory of unsung warriors who fought valiantly at Mudki on December 18, 1845; at Feroze Shah on December 21-22, 1845; and on February 10, 1846, at Sabraon and Misriwala.

Ferozepur’s former DC Kulbir Singh Sidhu had coordinated with the committee in May 2006. After he retired in August 2006, the issue was put on the back burner. Now, he wants the CM to take up the matter again with the Union government.
Sidhu told TOI, “The monuments at Mudki, Feroze Shah and Misriwala were duly notified as monuments of national importance under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, on November 28, 1918, by the Punjab government. The british Indian government had confirmed the same status for monuments at Misriwala and Mudki on April 13, 1923, and at Feroze Shah on April 13, 1927.”

War museum in dire straits

The Anglo-Sikh War Museum at Feroze Shah, 28 km from Ferozepur town, is a picture of neglect. The iron tripod bearing plaques that carry the mute testimony to the Anglo-Sikh wars fought at Feroze Shah, Sabraon, Misriwala and Mudki have rusted beyond recognition. Broken glass panes have turned the artistically-designed double-storey memorial into a convenient nesting site for birds. The foundation stone also tells the tale of official apathy towards the building located on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway. Some rare artefacts, including weapons, were stolen from the museum a few years ago. These have not been recovered so far. Fountains on the 4.5-acre complex had also become dysfunctional. Cannons on display at the entrance now rest on decaying wooden mounts and broken wheels.

Neel Kamal| TNN | Updated: Mar 23, 2017, 11.11 AM IST

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