In an interesting incident, a group of women belonging to Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad entered the Taj Mahal and performed puja at a 400-year old mosque inside Taj Mahal. In a video which has gone viral, the women can be seen entering the mosque and lightening ‘battis’ and pouring holy ‘Ganga Jal’ at the premises of the mosque.
According to the reports, the group of women performed ‘Puja’ as a retaliation to the Namaaz offered by the local Muslims earlier despite Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) ban on offering Namaaz at the historical monument.
Meena Devi Diwakar, district president of Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad said, “If Muslims are being allowed to offer namaz on all days, then even we can offer puja at our Tejomahalaya”. Some sections of the society believe that the Taj Mahal was built for Lord Shiva temple (Tejomahalya), which was converted into the present-day tomb after being demolished by the Mughal rulers.
However, Vasant Swarankar, ASI superintending archaeologist (Agra circle) said that they had sent an ASI staff on the spot to verify whether ‘Puja’ was performed at the mosque and has said that no dhoop or any other puja material was found on the spot.
Swarankar further said, “Local police has been informed of this and CISF has been asked to provide the CCTV footage whose authenticity will be checked”. He promised that action will be taken against the Hindu activists.
Meanwhile, Govind Parashar, leader of Rashtriya Bajrang Dal has threatened to do Puja inside the Taj Mahal and questioned the authorities, “If no action is being taken against Muslims for offering Namaaz and violating ASI ban, why should action be taken against the Hindus?”
Syed Ibrahim Zaidi, the president of Taj Mahal Intazamia Committee, told the media that the order of the ASI shows its arbitrary mindset after ASI said that namaz can be offered only on Fridays. Sadiq Imam, the Imam of the mosque raised objections against offering ‘Puja’ at the mosque and urged the authorities to take action against the women activists.