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Plea before Allahabad High Court seeks opening of locked rooms in Taj Mahal to ascertain existence of Shiva temple

The petition was filed in the registry of the Lucknow bench of the High Court by the media in-charge of BJP's Ayodhya unit, Rajneesh Singh.

A writ petition was recently filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court seeking directions to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to open the 22 locked rooms of the Taj Mahal to ascertain the existence of Hindu idols and scriptures there. The plea cited claims by some historians and some Hindu groups about the monument being an old Shiva Temple.

The petition was filed in the registry of the Lucknow bench of the High Court by the media in-charge of BJP’s Ayodhya unit, Rajneesh Singh. The writ petition is yet to come up for hearing.

In the writ petition, Rajneesh Singh cited claims by some historians about the monument being an old Shiva Temple, that was demolished by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and converted into a mausoleum. The petition suggests that since many Hindu groups have been claiming that the Taj Mahal is an old Shiva Temple, an inquiry must be conducted and the controversy should be put to rest.

In his petition filed through lawyers Ram Prakash Shukla and Rudra Vikram Singh, Singh had contended that there were more than twenty closed rooms in the basement and upper floors of the Taj Mahal, which were not open to the public. He claimed that there were Hindu idols and scriptures in those rooms which proved that the Taj Mahal was in fact a Shiva Temple.

The plea urged ASI to form a fact-finding committee to ascertain the claim that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had converted the Shiva Temple into a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death. It requested the court to direct ASI to submit a report on the same.

The petition read, “Some Hindu Groups and reputable Sants are claiming this monument as an old Shiv Temple which has converted into a mausoleum by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. Some people also believe that Tejo Mahalaya @ Taj Mahal appears to be one of the Jyotirling i.e. the outstanding Shiva Temples.”

“It is respectfully submitted that there are certain rooms situated in upper and lower portions (approx 22 rooms) of the four-storied building which are permanently locked and many Historian like P N Oak and crores of Hindu Worshiper strongly believes that in those locked rooms, a temple of Lord Shiva is present,” the plea further stated.

It further stated that an RTI was filed to the ASI asking the reason for the Taj Mahal’s doors being closed, adding that “in the Reply by the department of ASI Agra it was said that due to security reasons those doors are locked.” 

Notably, the petition has sought to overturn certain provisions of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act 1951 and the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, which declared the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, and Itimad-ud-tomb Daulah’s as historical monuments.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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