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  4. Qutub Minar row: ASI says sculptures exist within complex, but against namaz, puja at monument

Qutub Minar row: ASI says sculptures exist within complex, but against namaz, puja at monument

Quoting the Ancient Monument and Archaeological sites and remains act, 1958, ASI said that any change or alteration in the existing structure would be in violation of the act.

Gonika Arora Reported by: Gonika Arora @AroraGonika New Delhi Updated on: May 24, 2022 13:46 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Qutub Minar row: ASI says sculptures exist within complex, but opposes 'pujan' at monument 

Highlights

  • The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) filed an affidavit as reply in Qutub Minar case.
  • The minaret is located in the Mehrauli area of the southern party of Delhi.
  • ASI said that it has been protected since 1914, a temple can't be revived at a protected site.

Qutub Minar controversy: The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday submitted that there is no denial of the fact that there are a number of sculptures existing within the Qutub Minar Complex in Delhi. The minaret which is located in the Mehrauli area of the southern party of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The matter was heard in Saket's district court today, and upon hearing arguments from both sides, the Judge reserved the order for June 9, when the next hearing will take place.

In an affidavit filed at the Saket District Court on Tuesday, the ASI admitted that sculptures can be found at the site, but opposed allowing 'pujan' (worshipping). It stated that this would be a violation of the Ancient Monument and Archaeological sites and remains act, 1958.

The ASI, preserving historical monuments in the country, categorically stated that "no one has the right to worship in a protected monument site". It also said that Qutub Minar has been protected since 1914, and a temple can't be revived at a protected site.

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Image Source : INDIA TV

ASI's reply submitted to Saket court in Qutub Minar case

"The pleas by Hindu petitioners is legally barred. The destruction of old temples to build Qutub complex is a matter of historical fact. The Qutub complex is protected since 1914 and it’s structure cannot be changed now. No one has the right to worship in a protected area. A temple can't be revived at a protected monument site." ASI said in its reply.

Quoting the Ancient Monument and Archaeological sites and remains act, 1958, ASI said that any change or alteration in the existing structure would be in violation of the act.

Meanwhile, a PTI report said that the Culture Ministry is considering conducting an iconography of the Hindu and Jain idols at the complex in Delhi, a senior official said, adding that there were no plans to excavate the site or stop any religious practice.

The comments came days after the Chairperson of the National Monument Authority Tarun Vijay wrote to the ASI requesting that two Ganesha idols found in the adjoining Quwwat-ul--Islam mosque be moved out of the complex "owing to their disrespectful placement".

Also Read: On reports claiming excavation at Qutub Minar complex, Centre's reply

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