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September 22, 2011



September 22, 2011

Encroachers occupy historic mound despite court order
From Arif Ghias
TOBA TEK SINGH: Encroachers continue to occupy the centuries old mound (Tibba Singarwala) in Kamalia despite notices issued to them by a court.
After confirmation that antiques dating back from 4th to 16th century had been discovered during the initial excavation of the mound, a PC-1 amounting to Rs four million was approved to carry out archaeological excavations and conservation work in the FY2009-10 due to efforts of MNA Riaz Fatyana. An Archaeology Department team headed by Harappa Museum Curator Muhammad Hassan carried out the excavations in 2010, which were completed in 2011 as per plan.
According to the revenue record, Tibba Singarwala, covering an area of 20 acres and located at Chak 742/GB, Kamalia near Ravi River, is owned by the Punjab Archaeology Department. It is 45ft high from the surrounding area and about 70-80 houses, including cattle pens, have been constructed on it without any approval. Before starting work on archaeological excavations, notices were issued to the mound dwellers to vacate the state land under the Antiquities Act 1975.
The matter was discussed by the Archaeology Department with the then Toba DCO Amanullah Khan in the light of the directions of the Supreme Court. According to the SC directions, the DCOs are responsible for the removal of encroachments on and around any historic site or monument indicated by the Archaeology Department in their respective districts.
The dwellers filed a case in the court of a Toba civil judge, seeking stay order against the department. Their plea was one-sidedly turned down due to the documentary proof of the department. After the case was rejected by the lower court, the district administration tried to demolish the illegal houses under section 32/34 of Colonies Act.
Locals termed the order an attempt to occupy their land and claimed, during their protest, that they had not voted in favour of MNA Riaz

Fatyana in last general elections and he was attempting to raze their houses in revenge. On the other hand after the completion of excavations, the Archaeology Department is now in the process of completing work for the protection of the historic site. As per plan, the work of erecting barbed wire around the mound, constructing gates and huts for watchmen are under way.
When contacted, Harappa Archaeological Museum Curator Muhammad Hassan said that the Kamalia AC had warned illegal residents against creating hurdles in the work. He added that instructions had been issued to respective DSP and the police station to register a case against the encroachers, who had allegedly damaged the barbed wire, on the request of the department. He said that a large number of antiques, mud bricks and burnt structure had been discovered during the excavations. He said that the Archaeology Department had confirmed that the mound dated back from 4th to 16th century.

Imposition of tax on LPG flayed
From Our Correspondent
TOBA TEK SINGH: LPG Cylinder Dealers Association office-bearers Mian Muhammad Mazhar, Sheikh Ayub and Nasir Jamal have condemned the levy of Rs 14 per kilogram tax on LPG by the federal government.
While addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, they stated that if the decision was not withdrawn, the dealers would be forced to come out on roads as protest.
PROTEST AGAINST POWERLOOM LEADERS: Powerloom owners of Kamalia on Wednesday staged a demonstration against some leaders of powerloom workers who were allegedly creating law and order situation by instigating some workers at Kamalia.
They also staged a sit-in outside the Kamalia Press Club. Later, addressing the protesters, Abdul Jabbar Ansari and Shahid Kharral said that a powerloom factory owner of Chak 713/GB Yaqoob caught a worker red-handed while stealing cloths and other valuables from his factory but when he asked the worker to return stolen valuables he allegedly starting blackmailing the factory owner. They demanded the DPO take action against such leaders.

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