Nizam’s grandson trashes MP’s claim of treasure under old secretariat

Hyderabad: Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, the grandson of seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, has dismissed the claim of a Congress MP that the ruler of the erstwhile Hyderabad State had squirreled wealth beneath the Secretariat building.

Terming Revanth Reddy’s statement as ‘wild’ and ‘offensive’ Khan advised him to desist from making such comments just to settle political scores with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

Khan, who also heads the Nizam Family Welfare Association, along with Chiranjeevi Kolluri of Hyderabad Deccan Democratic Alliance and L. Pandu Ranga Reddy of Voice of Telangana, issued a statement saying the MP with his comment hurt the sentiments of a community.

They demanded him to tender an apology, failing which they would be constrained to seek legal remedies. They also announced that they will take the matter to the notice of Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi.

“The MP is well advised to settle his scores if any, with the incumbent Chief Minister, but not to drag the names in their altercations,” they said in a statement.

“The MP should know that Islam does not permit to hoard wealth that too in the earth. He has a penchant for playing to the gallery. In this endevaour he makes calumnies in alliterations and hog headlines in the media. Can he cite one example in Indian history where a Muslim ruler hidden his wealth in the earth,” they asked.

They alleged that the MP through his unfounded allegations not only insulted the Nizams but also committed the sacrilege of Islam.

“It was Mir Mahabub Ali Khan, the VIth Nizam, who built a summer resort at the ‘Shikam’ land of the Hussainsagar but when he was about to enter the new building, he noticed a chameleon at the entrance and regarded it as a bad omen and abandoned the edifice. That means he had not hidden any wealth there. After that the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan turned the vacant building into the secretariat Bab-i-Hukumat. He did not bury the wealth either,” they said.

They pointed out that for Nizams gold held no allure. “He used the world famous ‘Jacob’ diamond as a paper weight. He rather led a spartan life with very few comforts and luxuries and felt that he had a fiduciary duty to the people. He was a trustee par excellence. It was Mir Osman Ali Khan who donated tons of gold to the Defence Fund of India after the Chinese aggression in 1962.”

While criticizing the Chief Minister for the secretive manner in which the demolition of the old Secretariat buildings was being carried out, Revanth Reddy had claimed that Chandrashekhar Rao was trying to take control of treasure hidden by Nizam under Saifabad palace.

The summer resort built by sixth Nizam was popularly known as Saifabad palace and is one of the 10 blocks of Secretariat being demolished by the Telangana government to build a new complex.

The opposition parties have criticized Chandrashekhar Rao for wasting public money on building a new secretariat when the existing structures were structurally sound to meet the requirements of the administrative headquarters.

Both the Telangana High Court and the Supreme Court dismissed the petitions by the leaders of the Congress party and some activists challenging the government’s move to demolish the existing buildings to build a new complex.

The demolition work, which started on July 7, resumed on Friday after the High Court lifted the stay. The work continued on Saturday at a brisk pace.

Police have erected barricades at two km radius around the Secretariat and diverted the vehicular traffic at several places.