“Children also come here to play cricket and football and cause damage to the graves,” locals said.
Hakeemulah, president of Mutahidda Shopkeepers Federation Charsadda, told Dawn that they held meetings with district coordination officer and TMA officials to request them to save the historical graveyard from destruction.
However, TMO Anees Ahmed, when contacted, said that they had taken stern action against the land grabbers and several cases against them were still pending in the court. He said the TMA hired watchmen and built boundary wall to protect the graveyard.
The residents said that in the past it was called Parang Charsadda graveyard. “Apart from renowned saints and religious scholars, the graves of martyrs of freedom movement are present here,” they added. CHARSADDA: The historical graveyard of Charsadda, already in dilapidated condition owing to highhandedness of land grabbers, has turned into a dump of garbage and filth.
A Mughal-era fortress-like structure was also found in the graveyard but its signs are vanishing with passing of time. The Babara Monument and graves of about 600 workers of Khudai Khidmatgar Movement, who were killed in 1948, were also part of the graveyard. Awami National Party observes August 12 as black day in memory of the killing of these workers every year.
ANP district general secretary Qasim Khan Muhammadzai told Dawn that they built a Janazagah at the graveyard to facilitate the visitors and mourners.