Monday, November 29, 1999

Nehru wards may get national status

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Dehradun, May 16 -- Two Nehru wards situated in Uttarakhand may have some ray of hope of getting national status following renewed exercise by Delhi- based Nehru Museum. Museum's senior officer who recently visited both sites and expressed to send a favourable report in this regard. Official proceedings to declare the two Nehru wards (cells where Jawaharlal Nehru was kept) at Almora jail and former Dehradun jail, as national heritage will be started soon. This has been a longstanding demand from the people of Uttarakhand as first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru along with several well-known freedom fighters was jailed in these wards during British rule. "Nehru ward located inside Alomra Jail is in pathetic shape. "No restoration work was carried out by the successive state governments in the cells where leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Acharya Narendra Dev, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and several known figures were kept inside these jails" informed Bhashyan Kasturi, Head Research and Publications of Nehru Museum, under union ministry of culture. Nehru Museum should take over both these wards be declared as national heritages. I will prepare a report in this regard and recommend it to Museum director Dr Karan Singh" stated Kasturi who was in Dehradun after returning from Almora. Kasturi informed that nothing is clear as to the responsibility for the maintenance of both Nehru wards. Almora Jails's ward is under the jurisdiction of IG Jail while maintenance of Dehradun's cell lies with state medical as the latter has acquired the land after Dehraun jail was shifted to another destination few years ago. Both cells can be declared as national heritage and could be kept under a centralised agency for up keep similar to Aga Khan Palace," informed former Uttarakhand Chief minister ND Tiwari who initiated the process of adhering national heritage status to both Nehru wards.

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