Kochi: Kerala High Court has asked the State Archaeology Department to take necessary steps for the protection the Tipu Sultan Fort and its adjacent properties at Feroke in Kozhikode.
The Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali ordered that the Department should take steps in six months to prevent further deterioration of the ancient monument and its remains.
The court also stated that the Archaeology Department could conduct necessary excavations to identify any further historical and archaeological relics in the nearby property.
The court's order came in response to and allowing a public interest litigation by K. Jayakrishnan, general convener, Feroke Cultural Coordination Committee, which sought to protect the monuments and its adjoining properties.
A writ petition was filed by E. Abdul Gafoor and other owners of the adjacent properties challenging declaration of their property as an ancient monument by the State government and the Director of Archaeology in terms of the provisions of the the Kerala Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1968. The court dismissed this petition also.
The court said there was a cave and a large well on the property and it appeared that the cave was extending to different parts of Kozhikode district. The photographs also showed that the cave was made of laterite and it had its own architectural value and relevance. Therefore, the government had every right in declaring the property as an ancient monument.
According to the Feroke Cultural Coordination Committee, Tipu’s Fort and other adjacent monuments were in ruins due to the neglect of authorities concerned. And due to the same reason, no attempt was made by the Archaeology Department in conducting any excavation in the adjoining property.