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    Archaeology Dept seeks police cover for eviction

    HYDERABAD: Two days after MajliseIttehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party MLAs obstructed attempts by the Department of Archaeology and Museums to remove encroachments from the Badshahi Ashoorkhana at Patherghatti in Old city, the department officials and district collector have written a letter to Hyderabad police commissioner A K Khan seeking police force to aid the demolition. The department will also reportedly take up the demolition early Saturday morning.
    The officials have sought around 600 to 900 policemen for the demolition of around 15 business establishments located there. They are taking up the work on the December 12 order of the AP High Court which took the department to task on protection of the monument.
    But on Wednesday when the Archaeology officials tried to demolish the shops, MIM MLAs Syed Ahmed Pasha Qaudri and Ahmed Bin Abdullah Balala, along with their supporters, convened at the Ashoorkhana and objected, leading to mild tension. The protestors did not allow the officials to carry out the eviction.
    But department officials say they are all set to evict the illegal occupants of the Chabutra and Guard Room, which form a part of the Ashorkhana. "We will take up eviction activity as per the AP High Court directions very soon. It is our duty to protect our monuments," said P Chenna Reddy, department director.
    The Badshahi Ashoorkhana is one of the oldest 'Imambaras' of India, a royal house of mourning built by the city's founder Mohd Quli Qutb Shah. A protected monument, it was cleared of all encroachments in 2009 following court orders but some shops outside the gates were left untouched.