The historic shrine of saint Din Panah has been declared dangerous by the Auqaf Department. The Mughal-era shrine is located in Kot Addu tehsil’s 50,000-strong town called Daira Din Panah.
Legend has it saint’s name was Syed Abdul Wahab Shah Bukhari. According to the Muzaffargarh Gazette (Volume 34),
the tomb, a domed building covered with blue and white tiles, was beautified by per-Partition deputy commissioner Pandit Hari K’ishan Haul for the shrine was equally revered by both Hindus and Muslims. In 1908, the offerings made at the shrine were estimated at Rs8,000 a year. Women come to the shrine to have jinns (evil spirits) cast out.
“King Akbar is said to have come during Din Panah’s time as a sanyasi and desired to become a murid by offering a lock of his hair. Din Panah, however, refused to admit him to his discipleship,” reads the gazzette.
According to the Auqaf Department, the shrine still attracts hundreds of the devotees for dua and ziarat.
There are, however, no adequate arrangements to accommodate the visitors at the shrine. No security is seen there. The two CCTV cameras installed a few years ago are dysfunctional.
This correspondent visited the shrine on Thursday, when maximum devotees visit the shrine. This Thursday, women outnumbered the male devotees. Three Auqaf officials were busy collecting notes from the box at the shrine.
District Auqaf Manager Raees Ishfaq said that they opened the box after two weeks. The box opens with multiple keys in the presence of the shire caretaker, a National Bank of Pakistan official and an Auqaf official. The bank official collects the money to be deposited in the Auqaf bank account.
Mr Raees said he sent four letters to his department for the reconstruction or repairing of the shrine but no to avail.
The Auqaf Department looks after 16 shrines in the Muzaffargarh district and, according to Mr Raees, all are in dilapidated condition. He said the department collected millions every month from these shrines but nothing was spent on them. He said his prime concern was the safety of the pilgrims.
In 2011, a suicide bomb blast at the shrine of Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan claimed more than 50 people but the police department did not learn any lesson from the incident.
Riaz Hussain Shah, of Daira Din Panah, said the shrine was located in the middle of the town on seven kanals, of which four kanals were under the illegal occupation of land grabbers.
Another resident Ghulam Rasool said when the government initiated an anti-encroachment campaign, they were happy about the retrieval of the shrine land. He moved the deputy commissioner office for the purpose but no action was taken.
The shrine is also manned by many disciples called khalifas for pray and other services for the devotees. Whenever someone comes out of the shrine, they surround the visitor for offerings.
Shrine Of Hazrat Sakhi Din Panah Rahmat Ullah Alaih درگاہ سخی دین پناہ, Daira Din Panah, Muzaffargarh, Punjab
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