Cant Revive Worship at Qutub Minar Complex; ASI says Opposing Plea

Story Highlights
  • ASI opposes plea seeking restoration of 27 temples.
  • A plea was filed by advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Ranjana Agnihotri demanding restoration of temples.
  • The ASI submitted a report to the Saket court on the plea seeking restoration.

New Delhi: The ASI submitting the report on Qutub Minar opposed the petition seeking the restoration of 27 Hindu and Jain Temples in the Qutub Minar Complex. The ASI stated that the Qutub Minar is a protected monument since 1914 and its structure cannot be changed now. The revival of worship cannot be allowed at a monument where such a practice was not prevalent at the time of its being granted the ‘protected’ status.

The plea was filed by advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Ranjana Agnihotri on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Lord Vishnu alleged that 27 temples were demolished on the orders of invader Muhammad Ghori’s commander Qutub-Din-Aibak.

The Saket court to this petition said- The diety has survived for 800 years within any worship. Let them survive like that.

To begin with, the ASI highlighted in its counter-affidavit that the Qutub Minar complex is a protected monument under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. Observing that no construction or reconstruction is allowed within 100 metres of a protective monument, it maintained that changing and alteration of the existing structure would be a violation of the AMASR Act. Moreover, it referred to a Delhi High Court order dated 27 January 1999, which held that any religious observance inside a protected monument is not permitted.

Likes of the current Gyanvapi mosque row, the Qutub Minar controversy erupted after ASIs ex regional director Dharamveer Sharma claimed that the Qutub Minar was constructed by Hindu emperor Raja Vikramaditya. It also claimed the discovery of idols in the complex.

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