Army says fully capable of maintaining grave of 'national hero' Brig Mohammed Usman

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New Delhi, Dec 28 (PTI) The grave of 'Naushera ka Sher' Brigadier Mohammed Usman, the seniormost officer who was killed in the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48, in Delhi has been found in a damaged state, as Army sources on Monday said it was fully capable of taking care of the national hero's final resting place.

Brigadier Usman is a national hero and the ranks in the Army are 'deeply anguished and disturbed' after seeing the condition of the grave, they said.

The grave is located in a cemetery and falls within the jurisdiction of Jamia Millia Islamia in south Delhi.

'The grave falls within the territorial jurisdiction of Jamia Millia Islamia so the administration should be responsible for the maintenance of the grave. And, if they cannot maintain it, the Army is fully capable of taking care of the grave of the war hero,' an Army source said.

Also, there are no plans to shift his remains to Delhi Cantonment area, the source said.

A senior official of Jamia Millia Islamia said, “The university is responsible for maintaining the graveyard's boundary wall and cleanliness. However, the graves are to be maintained by respective families”.

He, however, did not comment on maintenance of security in the graveyard.

“We will write to the university authorities to take action on the state of graves there. The varsity must ensure that only family members are allowed inside the graveyards,' Haris-ul-Haq, Secretary, Jamia Millia School Teachers' Association, said.

A senior police officer said they have not received any complaint in this connection.

The matter came to light after a portal 'Heritage Times' shared photographs of the current condition of the grave.

A plaque put up adjoining the grave bears an eulogy to the officer who was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra and honoured with the title of 'Naushera ka Sher' for his heroics before his martyrdom.

'Here lies the mortal remains of the brave son of soil, Late Brig Mohammed Usman, MVC (Posthumous). Decades and generations have passed, but his tomb stands testimony to the gallant saga of a true son of the motherland. It has and will continue to inspire future generations to come,' reads the plaque.

Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, former military secretary and chancellor Central University of Kashmir, tweeted, “Heartbroken @adgpi. please see this info is put up to the AG and the Colonel of the Parachute Regt. This grave must be repaired by us, the Indian Army. We should move the mortal remains to a place in Delhi Cantt where they will be treated with honour”.

In response, Lt Gen (retd) Vinod Bhatia, Director, Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) and former Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) said on Twitter, “Corrective action initiated. Brig Muhammad Usman MVC (P), Saviour of Naushera is by far the most revered and respected military leader and paratrooper.” Local MLA and Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amanatullah Khan said he was not aware of the incident.

'We will look into it,' he said. PTI KND/GJS VIT NIT SRY