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Notice to governments over Jain site

    Madurai (Tamil Nadu), January 12, 2012: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered notice to the Union and state governments on a plea to declare Thirumalai hill, located at Sivaganga district, as an ancient monument and protect it.

    In a PIL, one M Ayyanar of Konneripatti said the hill, situated 54-km from Madurai has historic rock paintings, dating back to five BC, where Tamil brahmi inscriptions of Sangam period, several Jain beds hewn out of the rock caves, a sign incised on the beds which were not found anywhere, were traced.

    Though all other monuments were declared as protected monument by the (ASI), Thirumalai hill was left out. Till today, neither ASI, nor Tamil Nadu archaeological department have come forward to declare it a protected monument.

    When the matter came up for hearing, before the bench comprising Justices Chitra Venkataraman and R Karuppiah, the petitioner’s counsel R Alagumani said each and every rock painting of the hill, has been defaced with names scrawled on them and the inscriptions and Jain beds were damaged. He also sought to provide adequate protection to the hill from defacing the ancient monuments by antisocial elements.

    After submissions on the issue, the Central and state government counsels said the assistant solicitor general of India, K K Senthilvelan took notice on behalf of the ASI, while additional advocate general of Tamil Nadu, K Chellapandian took notice on behalf of the state government and submitted that instruction would be given to the district SP, Sivaganga to provide necessary protection to the ancient monument from anti-social elements and file a status report before the court. The matter was posted after two weeks. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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