The crocodiles at saint Mangho Pir’s shrine have for decades brought good fortune to several devotees that throng the shrine from all over the country. But they haven’t had it easy themselves. After starving for months following the shrine’s closure owing to the bomb threats by the militants, the crocodiles now have a new enemy - the land mafia.
To protect the shrine from falling prey to the greed of the land mafia, the shrine’s custodian and chairperson, Syed Shah Ghulam Mohiuddin Sharafi Firdousi, has moved the high court to protect it and has named provincial Auqaf department chief administrator, administrator and manager of the shrine as respondents.
The petitioner claimed that he has been entrusted with maintaining the security of the shrine, an area of 17 acres that includes the shrine, crocodile pond and a graveyard. He further claimed that the manner in which the Auqaf department is running the affairs, there is every chance that the land will be encroached upon by the mafia in connivance with the chief administrator and administrator.
“The Auqaf department is only interested in the collections while the visitors are facing great difficulty due to lack of maintenance,” alleged Shujja Abbas Rizvi, the petitioner’s lawyer. He pleaded before the court to direct the Auqaf department to save the land from encroachment and maintain the shrine.
Sindh High Court chief justice Mushir Alam issued notice to the Auqaf department to provide details of collections made during the last three months. He also sought a report on supervision of the shrine.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2013.
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