In many war films we see underground bunkers, where the soldiers hide to be saved from shelling by enemy forces. In many sci-fi films we see underground bunkers specially made to save oneself from the eventuality of a nuclear war or holocaust. But have you ever heard of a secret underground basement 8,000 square feet wide, resembling a market, in the middle of a Holy City? Believe it or not, this underground basement was chanced upon by Varanasi District Police Chief SSP R. K Bharadwaj on a patrolling duty on Tuesday night.
What makes this news even more unbelievable and scary is the fact that construction work for this underground basement was going on for more than 2 years. During this period of 2 years, no one felt the need to inform the authorities about this; no intelligence picked this up; local municipality did not notice large amount of debris being collected; no one complained about noise pollution – NOTHING. And remember that this is Varanasi – PM Narendra Modi’s constituency. Another startling information is that this basement is barely 50 metres away from the barricade of the famed Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Not surprising is the fact that the entrance is in front of a Hafeez Mosque and that the area close to the Mosque was also being dug up. The SSP got suspicious when he saw a light coming from a ventilator under an old katra (shop) in front of the Mosque. He entered the place and discovered that the construction began at Dalmandi area and ended on the Beniya Park road. When the team took a closer look, they saw that there were 40 settlements constructed one after another – a mini underground city.
एसएसपी-वाराणसी महोदय द्वारा शहर के व्यस्ततम क्षेत्र दालमंडी का निरिक्षण किया गया, इस दौरान जमीन के अन्दर हो रहे अवैध निर्माण को रोकवाकर, जाँच कर कार्यवाही करने का आदेश दिया pic.twitter.com/s1qad1t4S8
— varanasi police (@varanasipolice) January 17, 2018
Subsequently, the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) recommended suspension of one assistant engineer and two junior engineers after sealing the structure and unauthorized portions of many illegal buildings in the area. The role of other VDA officials, police and local intelligence unit and local criminal gangs, who could be involved in illegal constructions in Dalmandi area, is also being examined. This news brings to the fore a few points:
- Why are our Municipalities unable or unwilling to start proceedings against any illegal structures, especially close to historical places, places of importance, places of worship, tourist places, schools, markets, railway or bus stations, etc.? That any riot / mishap in these places would cause severe casualties of life and business, is a given.
- How / Why did the police and intelligence not pick up any information even though the underground work (digging & building) was going on for 2 years? This is the PM’s constituency and as such, more precaution should have been taken. PM Modi has been known to take Padyatras before reaching temples, maidans … anything could have happened during such a visit, given that it was just 50 metres from the Security Cordon of the famed Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This is a serious intelligence lapse.
- Given the fact that the basement starting point is from a Muslim locality and close to a Mosque (given the fact that the area next to it also being dug up), should we presume that Muslims must have built this underground city? If yes, many questions arise as to why we have people from this peaceful religion building such a place so surreptitiously. It is no secret that several terrorist outfits (religion not mentioned) had threatened to target the site in the past.
- Can one question what would have happened if any disaster had taken place either at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple or at the Mosque? I shudder to think of that possibility … I also shudder to think of the reaction of the Main Stream Media if this were to happen – no prizes for guessing the answer to this one.
Those who keep blaming the BJP and Modi Government for increase of hostilities against Minorities, must contemplate once again as to whether the Centre has ever attacked the Minorities in these 3 years that it has been in power. They also need to contemplate what has been the role of the Minorities, the MSM and the opposition parties in attacking the Country and the Centre.
Our deepest gratitude to Bhole Vishwanath who has protected Varanasi before any major catastrophe took place. Jai Hind !!!