Mystery surrounds missing Hero Stone

RUPESH SAMANT (PTI), PANAJI | 12 March 2011 19:41 IST

Piece of Hero Stone

Goa Archives and Archeology department’s apathy has forced silence on the mystery of disappearance and desecration of 13th century old `Hero Stone’ in Goa’s ruralmost taluka.

The Hero Stone, dating back to Kadamba Era, attains utmost significance in the heritage circle, as it is one amongst the few sculptures left which honours `death of a Hero in the battle.’

Crime Branch officials, investigating into the disappearance and desecration of Hero Stone from Nagvem village in Sattari taluka, have said the department of Archives and Archeology is delaying on the experts’ report sought from them almost three months back.
“We had asked the archeological expert to certify that the stone pieces that are recovered were actually part of Hero stone. Also we are expecting that the experts will help us to know what could be the motive behind such an act,” a senior Crime Branch official said.
On September 14, few heritage-lovers who were trekking the jungles of Sattari, found that the Hero Stone was missing. The disappearance shocked the heritage activists, who sought investigation into the matter.
Few days later, the stone was found broken into four pieces, in the same jungle. Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG) had taken the matter very seriously and had even petitioned state governor Dr S S Sidhu seeking his directives to the police to investigate the matter.
The hero stone was worshipped by local nomadic `Gauli’ community, which were stunned by the act of some miscreants to touch the stone, which is one-metre-long and heavy to be lifted.
GHAG activist Prajal Sakhardande told PTI that they are still waiting for the crime branch investigations to pin point to the accused, who can dare to do such an act.
The stone slab locally known as ‘Veer gal’ was erected in memory of a local hero who sacrificed his life in a battle. The stone slab also had a funeral scene which showed the unsung hero’s body with his wife poised to jump onto her husband’s pyre.
The heritage activists were apprehensive that Hero stone disappearance and later desecration is an attempt by antique smugglers, who are eyeing on the unsecured century old objects scattered across the state.
Sakhardande said that state government's lethargy in notifying such important monuments are giving a free hand to these anti social elements.
He alleged that there is organised antique smuggling racket in Goa which needs to be tracked down and busted. “All the unnotified sculptures and other antiquities are in grave danger and it is time for the government to act and put to end the loss of this treasure,” Sakhardande added.

Drop a comment

Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image

Latest News