New Delhi: Retired Bihar cadre IPS officer Amitabh Das has returned his Police Medal in protest against the proposed demolition of a part of Khuda Bakhsh Library in Patna.
In his letter to the President of India, who confers the medal, Das has described Nitish Kumar as the ”nalayaq” Chief Minister of Bihar. He alleged that Kumar, in connivance with some corrupt contractors and ‘tender mafia’, has decided to raze a portion of the library to the ground.
”The library is a legacy of the entire human race, a symbol of the ”Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. The whole of Bihar is proud of it. As a book-lover, I am deeply shocked by this decision. I served the country for many years as an IPS officer. I am returning to you the police medal given by the Government of India to protest the Nitish government’s decision,” read his letter.
Das has launched a campaign named ‘Har shakhs, Khuda Baksh’ to protect the library from demolition.
As per the plan prepared by Bihar State Bridge Corporation, the library’s demolition will, among other things, raze a reading room named after former Viceroy Lord Curzon to the ground to pave way for the construction of a flyover to reduce traffic congestion in central Patna.
Members of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has also written to Nitish Kumar seeking his intervention to protect the historical Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library from demolition, reported Times of India.
The library is home to the personal collections of Mughal king Shah Jahan, Princess Jahan Ara and a rare copy of ‘Ode to Napoleon’ penned by Lord Byron with two stanzas written in the poet’s own hand. It also hosts paintings made during the Rajput and Mughal eras of India.