War hero graveyard vandalised or in disrepair in Batla House?
It was a few days ago when graveyard of Brigadier Mohammad Usman, the highest-ranked officer killed in the first Pakistan war of 1947-48, grabbed headlines.
TOI carried a story with this headline: “In no man’s land: War hero’s grave in disrepair.” Another famous national daily Indianexpress.com also ran a report with his headline: “Grave of national hero, laid to rest near Jamia university, falls into disrepair.” Both these newspapers emphasised on graveyard in “disrepair”.
However, later on the social media and while googling the subject there were many reports pointing out that the graveyard of war hero was “vandalised” by miscreants.
On a day when jawans turned up at the Batla House graveyard to pay floral tributes after restoring the graveyard headstone, the OT spoke with local leader and activist Mahmood Ahmad who also talked about the graveyard in disrepair not being vandalised.
He said it is an old graveyard and chances are that the headstone got damaged over years.
Watch the video to know his view.
The OT was unable to find independently whether the graveyard was vandalised as claimed by some or in disrepair as mentioned by a few dailies. The graveyard is an open place located in front of metro and has no special security arrangement, said a resident, adding that it is common thing to see children playing and goats grazing.
Quoting residents, ThePrint reported that the cemetery is not secure given that both entrance and exit gates are open 24×7 and an entire side of the premises is open to the Jamia Metro Station and main road. Many netizens were upset after coming to know about the graveyard in disrepair.
Born in Azamgarh, martyred Brigadier Usman was buried at Batla House graveyard near Jamia Millia Islamia. He was martyred on July 3, 1948.
In the report, TOI mentions: TimesView:
“It is a matter of shame that war hero Brigadier Mohammad Usman’s grave is in a state of disrepair. Authorities should not pass the buck among themselves over matters of jurisdiction. The repairs must be conducted immediately.”
At the graveyard information about Brigadier Usman is given and it reads: “He was commissioned into the 5/10 Baluch Regiment, where he served till Independence. During Partition, he was given the option to join the Pakistan Army as Army chief. A true patriot that he was, he declined and chose to serve the country of his birth, an epitome of secularism and patriotism. Brigadier Usman took over command of 50 (I) Para Brigade in December 1947 at Naushera, J&K. Under his command, the brigade halted the advance of Pakistani tribals at Naushera against all odds. He then led the brigade to recapture Jhangar, thereby turning the tide on the raiders.”
Brigadier Usman was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest military decoration, and became known by the epithet “Naushera ka Sher”.