Grave of exiled Kashmiri King Yusuf Shah Chak, who resisted Mughal attempts to annex Kashmir, lies in ruins in Bihar

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The graves of Yusuf Shah Chak and his family members. (Photo Credit: The Hindu)

The resting place of last independent king of Kashmir, Yusuf Shah Chak, in Bihar lies in ruins and faces a threat from local land grabbers.

The cemetery’s caretaker in Biswak village of Nalanda district has written over 200 letters to the state government, seeking protection for the monument. “But the encroachment has continued, with villagers building homes on the graveyard land,” a report published by The Hindu quoted the caretaker as saying.

Yusuf Shah, who succeeded his father Ali Shah, was imprisoned by the Mughal emperor Akbar and later exiled to Bihar.

The Chaks were a Kashmiri tribe of dardic ancestry from Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir who had successfully resisted the attempts of Babur and Himayun to annex Kashmir. Chaks ruled Kashmir from 1579 to 1586 AD.

They were formidable fighters and defeated Mughal Emperor Akbar twice, after some disgruntled Kashmiri nobles were pushing Akbar to annex Kashmir.

As per historians, after the defeats, Yusuf Shah Chak was invited to Delhi for talks with Akbar. Akbar’s forces betrayed Chak, and imprisoned him for the rest of his life. Some accounts of history dispute this.

Many historical accounts talk about Habba Khatoon, a well known poetess of Kashmir, opposing Yousuf’s travel to Delhi, sensing trouble for Chak in Akbar’s offer.

She later made mentions of this in her writings.

ALSO READ: Travelogue: A road trip to Gurez, and the longing of Habba Khatoon

“If the government does not take care of this encroachment, the day is not far off when all the graveyard land will have turned into a hamlet,” The Hindu quoted Yasir Khan Chak, who claims to be a descendant of the royal family, as saying.

Reacting to encroachment by the land grabbers on the graveyard, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has appealed the chief minister of Bihar Nitesh Kumar to protect the part of Kashmir’s history.

“I request @NitishKumar ji to protect this part of Kashmir’s history that lies far from the valley in Bihar.” Omar tweeted.


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