History & Culture

Keep Taj free of controversy: guides

MEERUT

The legal case on the plea to declare the Taj Mahal a Shiva temple took an interesting turn on Wednesday with several tourist bodies in Agra asking the district court not to allow the monument to become a “Babri Masjid.”

Lawyer Harishankar Jain, and five others, had moved the court with the plea that Hindus should be allowed to offer worship at the Taj Mahal which they said was a Shiva temple once. Their petition wanted the court to direct the authorities to restrain any religious activity by Muslims and remove all graves from the premises, reports Hindu.

Mr. Jain, who argued that the temple used to be called Tejo Mahalaya, made Lord Agreshwar Mahadev the main plaintiff to claim ownership of the Taj and declared himself the “next friend” of the deity.

At the hearing, the Approved Guide Association sought to intervene. “The Taj Mahal is a major tourist attraction and a symbol of national pride not only for Agra but also for the entire country. The Mughal monument should not be made controversial. The court should ensure that it is not turned into another Babri Masjid,” Vireshwar Nath Tripathi, an office-bearer of the association, said.

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