In a shocking development, a 15th century tomb from Tughlaq era has mysteriously been converted into a Shiva temple and the government has no idea about it. The mysterious conversion of ‘Gumti’ tomb into a ‘Bhola Shiva Temple’ has also left the Delhi’s AAP government red-faced. Listed as a heritage building and a 15th century tomb, it is located in the middle of residential buildings and a park in Humayunpur village of Safdarjung Enclave in South Delhi.
The tomb has now been painted in white and saffron and idols have been kept inside the structure. The local residents that Janta Ka Reporter spoke to said that a group of youth broke open the door of the historical monument and placed the idols of Lord Shiva inside it, in March this year. Now the entry point of the monument prominently displays ‘Bhola Shiv Mandir.’ It is said to be the temple of ‘Bhola Dharmarth Trust’. The date of establishment of the temple is also written as 15 June 1971.
The development has evoked angry reactions from historians and Hindu scholars. Rahul Easwar, a prominent Hindu scholar, tweeted, “This is bad and wrong. We are insulting Lord Shiva when we do such drama & Sins. Dont we have enough Temples in India and enough spaces to build new Temples? Hope @ArvindKejriwal Govt takes action of these people who are misusing Hindu Gods for spreading Hatred @msisodia is a complete violation of the Citizen Charter of the Archeology Department.”
Historian Irfan Habib wrote, “Extremely worrying that a Tughlaq era tomb was converted into a Shiva temple in the heart of the city. Hope the Delhi govt takes serious action against those responsible for this awful crime.”
It is mentioned in the Citizen Charter that inside or outside a monument, the wall can not be painted or whitewash. It is also mentioned that the originality of these monuments of historical importance should not be harmed.
Janta Ka Reporter managed to speak to some locals on the condition of not revealing their identity. One of the locals told, “The tomb had been transformed into a temple for two months now. When it was being converted into a temple, some local people along with some political people were also present there. Because of which no one resisted.”
Meanwhile, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has ordered an inquiry into the conversion of a 15th century temple into a Hindu temple. When contacted, the Delhi government sent its statement to Janta Ka Reporter stating that the development was a ‘serious offence.’
It said, “A news report has been brought to my notice. Causing damage and harm to a heritage property is against the law and a serious offence. It is the duty of the State Archeology Department to ensure the protection of heritage monuments listed under them and take strict action in a case of lapse. The reported incident should be handled with zero tolerance by the department as it not only violates heritage related laws but is also an attempt to disturb peace and harmony in the area. Secretary (ACL) to provide a detailed report to me by tomorrow with details of the incident and action taken by her.”
Meanwhile, two saffron-coloured benches placed in the complex with the name of BJP councillor from Safdarjung Enclave, Radhika Abrol Phogat have been removed after the matter got light. Phogat on Friday had expressed her ignorance on the matter.