The damaged grave of ‘Naushera ka Sher’ Brigadier Mohammed Usman, the seniormost officer who was killed in the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48, in Delhi is being repaired and restored by the Army, sources said on Thursday. The grave, located in a cemetery whose land comes under the jurisdiction of the Jamia Millia Islamia in south Delhi, was recently found in a damaged state.
“Entire ranks of the Army and veterans have been deeply hurt that his grave was found in a state of disrepair. He is a national hero and not just Army’s hero, so it should be everyone’s duty to honour our heroes. Army has taken up to lend dignity to Brig Usman’s grave again and repair and restoration work is in progress,” an Army source told PTI. The damage came to light after a web portal shared photographs of the current condition of the grave, following which the Army took cognisance of the matter.
“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, Army is fully capable of taking care of the grave of the war hero,” an Army source had said on Monday. Also, there was no plan to shift his remains to the Delhi Cantonment area, the source had added.
The graveyard located in the Batla House area is the final resting place of many other eminent people. “The Army unit responsible for maintaining the grave concerned sought formal permission from the university for repairing and maintaining the grave. They were granted the permission,” a representative of the university said.
Brig Usman belonged to the Parachute Regiment. A plaque adjoining the grave bears a eulogy to the officer who was posthumously awarded the 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. The Army source said there are so many war heroes whose final resting places are located across the country, from small towns to big cities.
“The Army does everything to maintain these graves, but local people and any other agency involved should also do their bit, these are heroes of the country,” the source added.