New Delhi: The India Army is set to restore the grave of Brigadier Mohammad Usman, the highest ranking officer to die in action during the first India-Pakistan war in 1947-48, ThePrint has learnt.
The grave was allegedly damaged by miscreants in the area.
The white marble grave is located in south Delhi’s Batla House Qabristan, near Jamia Millia Islamia, in the cemetery’s ‘VIP section’ that also houses the graves of other eminent figures such as writer Qurratulain Hyder and scholar Mujeeb Rizvi.
The Army wrote to Jamia Millia Islamia Tuesday seeking permission to carry out repairs on the grave. “The university wanted a letter from the Army for the record and it has been sent. We will carry out the repairs,” a senior officer told ThePrint.
The officer said a wreath is laid by the regiment concerned on Brigadier Usman’s grave on his death anniversary every year.
“This year the wreath laying did not happen due to the coronavirus pandemic. Otherwise, it is done every year and the troops also clean up the area around the grave.”
Army sources had told ThePrint Monday the matter, which is a “protocol and emotional issue” for the force, was being looked into at the highest level.
‘Officers visited late war hero’s regiment after three years’
Army sources also told ThePrint that an officer visited the university and met the authorities to discuss the matter. Though the university owns the graveyard property and is responsible for its maintenance, restoration or repair of graves is done by families of the deceased.
A professor from the university, who is associated with graveyard maintenance, said officers from the late war hero’s regiment had come to investigate the grave Tuesday.
Mir Ferozuddin, the grandnephew of Brigadier Usman, who is based in Saudi Arabia, told ThePrint it was “inspiring and positive” to see how the grave’s vandalism was highlighted and swift action taken for its repairs.
The life story of the war hero, who died on 3 July 1948, is set to be adapted into a biopic by director Sanjay Khan, starring his son Zayed Khan in the titular role.