After Shiv Sena threatens to conduct puja in Taj Mahal, Security force to set up

The Agra district administration has approved of providing security outside the Taj Mahal on request of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), after a threat by Shiv Sena’s declaring that there will be aarti and pooja at the monument on each Monday of the holy Sawan month.

A letter from the ASI authorities stating that any sort of spiritual performance and initiating any new ritual in the preserved monument is against the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

VeenuLavania Agra Shiv Sena President on July 17 challenged the district administration and police to stop him and his aims from performing the aarti at the Taj Mahal.

Lavania had said that Taj Mahal is not a Muslim but TejoMahalaya which is a temple of Lord Shiva and they will perform the aarti at TejoMahalaya on every Monday of Sawan month.

Vasant Swarankar the Superintending Archaeologist of ASI of Agra circle, said that neither aarti or any kind of puja has ever been conducted in the Taj Mahal.

He said that they have approached the district authorities to provide adequate security arrangements outside the Taj Mahal.

K.P. Singh Additional District Magistrate (ADM) said that nobody would be obliged to interrupt the law and order situation in the city. He said that proper arrangements would be done as per the ASI’s request.

Even earlier many times right-wing groups have tried to make dispute over-performing puja inside the Taj Mahal.

The previous year, a crowd of women of right-wing organizations had performed puja in the mosque inside the Taj Mahal to confirm that the monument was formerly a temple of Shiva.

In the year 2008, a group of Shiv Sena activists had sneaked into the Taj Mahal and made a spiritual custom of a parikrama with folded hands, and when the cops found and questioned them, they got into an argument, leading them to arrest by the police.

As per the Shiv Sena argument, the monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th-century over an older Shiva temple called TejoMahalaya.

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