Police registered an FIR against unknown persons on Tuesday after a tyre was burnt inside the premises of Jama Masjid, one of the 114 monuments listed by the Baroda Heritage Trust, in Champaner. The mosque is a part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The case was registered after the representatives of Muslim community in Godhra submitted a memorandum to Panchmahal district collector and superintendent of police demanding strict action against those involved in the incident.
“…India is a democratic and secular country, and unity in diversity is our identification. Whichever anti-social element tried to disrupt peace and break the unity, strict actions should be taken against them. At the mehrab, where the imam offers namaz, some anti-social elements burnt a tyre, and tried to damage the heritage site. We request you to initiate strict actions against them, identify them and arrest them,” the memorandum stated.
Conservation Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Vadodara Circle, Rajesh Johri said that there “visible damage” to the monument. “We have inspected the entire area, but such activities are unacceptable. We have filed an FIR and also asked the security agency to initiate an inquiry into the matter since this was a breach of security despite a security personnel being on duty,” Johri said.
Investigating Officer N R Waghela said that the miscreants were yet to be identified as there was no CCTV camera in the premises, and the security guard has no recollection of the incident. “No arrests have been made yet,” Waghela added.
The case has been registered under Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act).