Rashtriya Bajrang Dal women allegedly hold ‘aarti’ inside Taj Mahal (File Photo)
In a new video going viral on social media shows Rashtriya Bajrang Dal’s (RBD) women’s wing district president with two of her associates performing ‘aarti’ on Taj Mahal premises. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said they are yet to verify the authenticity of the video. Taking match boxes or any flammable material inside the heritage site is prohibited as per ASI standards.
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“We entered the Taj Mahal with ‘dhoop batti’ (incense sticks), Gangajal and match box and performed ‘aarti’ at the mosque on the premises. We ‘purified’ the location as it is our ‘Shiv Temple’, sanctity of which was damaged by ‘namaz’,” quoted the Hindustan Times District RBD women’s wing president Meena Diwakar as saying.
“The identity of the Taj Mahal is because of Tejo Mahalaya, the Shiva Temple. Permission was granted for offering namaz once on Friday but it has been offered on other days too. So we also offered ‘aarti’. We are prepared to face action if those violating the norms by offering ‘namaz’ on week days are punished,” she said.
Brij Bhushan, CISF commandant said, “the matter is yet to come to me and in case there was such an incident, it would be probed.”
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Earlier, the Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) office in Agra increased vigil to prevent the local residents from offering namaz at the Taj Mahal on World Heritage Day on Monday. There is free entry to all historical monuments of the city on this day.
The decision was taken in view of the outbursts by Muslim groups against the organisation's recent move to ban namaz at the mosque on Taj Mahal premises on Fridays.