Makka Darzi Imambara vandalism sparks outrage among heritage enthusiasts
Heritage enthusiasts are fervently demanding action against the individual shown in the video for his alleged involvement in the incident.
LUCKNOW A viral video purportedly depicting a man vandalising a section of the Makka Darzi Imambara, situated in Khairabad town within Sitapur district (approximately 80 km from the state capital), has stirred indignation among heritage enthusiasts.
They are fervently demanding action against the individual shown in the video for his alleged involvement in the incident.
In the viral video, an individual can be seen atop the facade of the Imambara, purportedly vandalising the burji (bastion) located at the pinnacle of the structure.
According to Gyanendra Kumar Dwivedi, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Sitapur, the man in question is reported to suffer from mental instability and resides in proximity to the Imambara. The video is said to have been recorded on August 26.
In response to this incident, a written complaint has been filed by S Mohammed Haider, a corporate lawyer and heritage activist. The complaint has been directed to the Superintendent of Police in Sitapur, the District Magistrate, and the Divisional Commissioner in Lucknow.
Haider expressed his dismay, said, “It is disheartening that on August 26, individuals residing within this historical monument deliberately dismantled the bastion at the entrance, inflicting significant damage upon our religious sentiments. Mutawalli Mohammad Moin, who also manages it as a Sunni Waqf property, brought this entire episode to light through his application dated August 27, 2023. He informed the Inspector-in-Charge of Khairabad about the incident and requested appropriate action, but no action has been taken based on the said application.”
“The gravity of the situation cannot be understated. Given the severity of the matter, I implore you to file a case under the applicable Act and pursue stringent legal action to prevent such incidents from recurring and to hold the culprits accountable for their actions,” Haider added in his complaint.
Adity Chakravarty, another heritage enthusiast, said, “The Imambara complex is deteriorating rapidly. Encroachments persist, and vandals continue to intentionally destroy its sections. Our heritage group, Citizens for Lucknow, attempted to raise funds for basic repairs to the gate in 2021, but we encountered challenges in obtaining the necessary permissions.”
In response to the public outcry, SDM Sitapur stated, “Upon receiving orders from the Sitapur District Magistrate, we conducted an inspection of the area in collaboration with the local police. We identified the encroachers and reprimanded them. It has come to our attention that the individual featured in the video is mentally unstable. Nonetheless, we have issued a stern warning against engaging in such activities in the future. Furthermore, we are making efforts to contact the caretaker (mutawalli) who, as per our information, resides in Lucknow.”
“In addition, we are currently engaged in advanced discussions with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the conservation and maintenance of the Imambara,” the SDM added.