Man arrested for bath in tank around Sher Shah Suri tomb

April 3rd, 2009 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, April 3 (IANS) A man has been arrested for bathing in the tank surrounding the 16th century tomb of Pathan king Sher Shah Suri in Sasaram in Bihar’s Rohtas district, police said Friday.
It was the first such case after district authorities banned discharge of polluted water, immersion of idols and bathing in the tank. The ban was imposed early this year by the Patna High Court to preserve the monument.

“I ordered his arrest when I found him taking bath despite ban,” Rohtas Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaibhav told IANS on phone.

The arrested man has been identified as Ramji Prasad, a resident of a village in Buxar district.

The district administration deployed central paramilitary forces around the tank early this week to prevent devotees from offering rituals at the Chaita Chhhath Puja. In January, it did not allow immersion of idols in the tank after Saraswati Puja.

Last November, the Patna High Court expressed unhappiness that the monument was being neglected and exposed to pollution. Some parts have also been encroached upon.

It directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Rohtas district administration to take measures to preserve the monument.

The tank around the five-storey tomb in Sasaram town, about 150 km from here, is filled with acidic industrial discharge while illegally constructed buildings have come up all around it.

An ASI official said that last year it warned the state government about the ecological threats to the tomb.

It had also moved the Patna High Court to seek removal of illegal constructions around the tomb. The ASI also approached the district administration for revival of inlet and outlet channels of the tank, and to prevent the immersion of idols, washing of clothes and bathing.

“The tank’s water has turned acidic. It is posing a serious threat to the mausoleum’s life - it will destroy the building material and weaken the structure. The tank’s depth has decreased alarmingly in the last two decades,” the official added.

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