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Space crunch: Rafi, Naushad in 'grave' danger

February 14, 2010 14:13 IST

The graves of several luminaries of Hindi cinema, including legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi and music composer Naushad are in the danger of being dug out to make way for new ones.

This is due to the space constraints faced by the Muslim Majlis, the trust which manages the Muslim Kabrastan (Burial ground) in the Santacruz-Juhu area of suburban Mumbai.

Several film industry icons including Madhubala, Parveen Babi, Sahir Ludhianvi, Talat Mehmood, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Ifteqar, Naushad, Mohammed Rafi have been laid to rest there.

Asgar Ali, President of the Muslim Majlis told PTI that the burial ground spread over one acre of land on Juhu Road in Santacruz (West) can accommodate only 500 graves.

"The problem of space constraint comes every two years and since the last eight years, it has become more severe. We are helpless," Ali said adding that the Trust has been requesting the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC) and the Suburban collector since last few years to allot a reserved plot to it in Juhu Koliwada area nearby.

Thespian Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Banu too have written letters to concerned authorities but in vain, he said.

"A portion of the Juhu Koliwada plot has been allotted for Christian burial ground two years ago and another portion for a Hindu crematorium. Why are we neglected," he asked.

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