ASI slammed over mosque neglect

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  • Published 18.01.12

Dhubri, Jan. 17: Rangamati Mosque, the oldest mosque in Assam, preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is suffering for lack of maintenance and apathy.

Also known as the Panbari Mosque, it was built during the 17th century by Hussain Shah, the Governor of Bengal and is a fine example of pre-Mughal architecture.

It is situated nearly 25km from Dhubri town.

Rangamati was once a very prosperous area during the reign of the Koch rulers and used as a frontier post.

During the Mughal regime, Rangamati was a great fort, also used for prayers.

It also comprised an Idgah and a deep well, constructed during the same period.

The ASI has put up a regulation plaque at the site, warning goons from defacing the monument and of a fine which may extend upto Rs 5,000.

However, residents of the area alleged that after putting up the plaque, the ASI hardly bothered to do anything to restore the original glory of the mosque.

Habibar Rahman Hazarika, the former president of Rangamati College, said despite its importance, the authorities concerned hardly took any care to keep the mosque in a good condition.

“Unless the ASI does anything to beautify or renovate, no one can do anything,” Hazarika added.

The adviser to the Rangamati Mosque Management committee, A.K. Fazlul Haque, echoed Hazarika.

He resented the fact that they knew nothing about the maintenance of the mosque.

“We construct boundary walls and support other work outside the mosque, as doing anything inside the mosque is prohibited by the ASI,” Haque added.

Haque alleged that there was no routine maintenance of the mosque.