Petition on Taj Mahal in court, Hindutva group targets Qutab Minar in Delhi

New Delhi, May 11 (KMS): After a petition was filed in Allahabad High Court in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh claiming Taj Mahal to be a Shiva temple, Hindutva groups targeted another Indian heritage site, Qutab Minar located in New Delhi demanding that it be declared as a ‘Vishnu Sthamb’.

According to Kashmir Media Service, a group of people associated with United Hindu Front (UHF) gathered at the medieval era archaeological marvel, Qutab Minar, with the intent to recite Hindu religious song Hanuman Chalisa.

The police arrested the activists of the UHF for demonstrating at the site of the heritage site holding saffron flags and chanting Hindu religious slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The police also kept UHF chief Jaibhagwan Goyal under house arrest. Goyal is also a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and national president of Rashtravadi Shiv Sena.

In a memorandum submitted to Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, Goyal claimed that the heritage site, which was built during early Muslim rule in India by Qutabuddin Aaibak, is ‘actually’ a Vishnu temple. In his memorandum, Goyal wants Qutab Minar named ‘Vishnu Stambh, and the 27 temples, which he claimed were demolished while constructing the minar, rebuilt for ‘pooja-aarti’ inside them.

Qutab Minar is a soaring 73 m-high tower of victory built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys each marked by a projecting balcony.

Reacting to the developments, renowned journalist and activist, Rana Ayyub, said, “It always starts with the fringe, then the survey, then the mob and finally a clean chit by the judiciary”.

Earlier, a local BJP leader, Rajanish Kumar Singh from Ayodhya, filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court demanding opening of the closed room inside Taj Mahal to ascertain whether there are Hindu idols and scriptures inside. The petition claimed that the Taj is actually a Shiva temple.

In the past, Hindutva activists recited Shiv Chalisa (Hindu religious songs) inside the Taj Mahal complex in Agra on the occasion of Hindu festival Mahashivratri. Some members of Hindu Jagaran Manch, a Hindutva outfit, including its district president Gauravn Thakur, were arrested by the police after they waved saffron flags inside the monument a few months back.

Reacting to the petition, Human rights activist Kavita Shrivastva said, “The Hindutvavaadis will not stop till all important Muslim shrines and relics are declared as Hindu shrines. They will take the Qutub Minar, Baba Budangiri, Taj Mahal apart from Gyanvapi and Syed mosque in Mathura and others. They are already in court for Taj Mahal”.