Kapilbastu, October 3:

Thanks to indifference of the locals and authorities concerned, the historic pillar erected by Indian emperor Ashoka in Niglihawa of Kapilbastu is in a pitiable state.

Growing human encroachment is taking its toll on the pillar of historic importance.

Some rowdy local children are found inscribing letters in the pillar with

the help of hammer and nails. Moreover, the ground where the pillar is located is being used for grazing cattle. The place has become a junction of sorts for gamblers and unruly children.

However, the authorities concerned have not paid attention to stepping up security in the area.

The pillar is located north-east of the Taulihawa-Jeetpur gravelled road portion about nine kilometres from Taulihawa, the district headquarters of Kapilbastu. The scripture in the pillar states that Indian Emperor Ashoka erected the pillar after offering special worship in the birthplace of Kanakmuni Buddha. He had visited the site 20 years after his accession to the throne.

Locals are complaining about the government indifference towards the conservation of the pillar. The inscriptions on the pillar recognise Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha and Tiraluakot as an ancient playground.