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'Allow Namaz at Mosque Inside Qutub Minar Complex': Delhi Waqf Board to ASI

The board also said that the ASI should take action against officials preventing Muslims from offering prayers.

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'Allow Namaz at Mosque Inside Qutub Minar Complex': Delhi Waqf Board to ASI
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The Delhi Waqf Board claimed on Tuesday, 24 May, that namaz used to be offered at a mosque inside the Qutub Minar complex, but it was halted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Delhi Waqf Board chairperson Amanatullah Khan had also written a letter to the ASI last week, requesting them to allow namaz at the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in the complex, PTI reported.

Khan had also claimed that the offering of prayers by Muslims had been stopped by the ASI.

The chairperson said in his letter, "Five times daily prayers were offered by the Muslims at the mosque and the practice continued without any hindrance and interference since its inception."
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This comes amid the ongoing controversy regarding a plea by Hindu petitioners to "restore 27 temples" inside the monument's complex.

'Take Action Against Officials Not Allowing Namaz To Take Place'

He also added that the mosque was duly notified as the waqf board's property, and that undertaking prayers five times a day had been the norm since "time immemorial."

Khan urged the ASI's director general to take action against those officials who were preventing Muslims from offering prayers, and asked for the resumption of namaz without any restrictions to maintain social harmony in the area, as per PTI.

The mosque's imam Maulvi Sher Mohammad had also written a similar letter to the ASI on 7 May, claiming that the latter was not allowing Muslims to offer prayers.

ASI Opposes Temple 'Restoration' Bid in Qutub Minar

Meanwhile, the ASI on Tuesday opposed a plea before a court in Delhi which was seeking the "restoration" of Hindu and Jain deities inside the Qutub Minar. Arguing against the plea, the ASI said that the monument was not a place of worship, and that its existing status could not be altered.

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"The intention of the statute is clear that the monument should be protected and preserved in its original condition for the posterity. Therefore, changing and alteration of the existing structure would be clear violation of the AMASR Act, 1958 and thus should not be allowed," the ASI said.

The Delhi court on Tuesday also reserved orders for 9 June in the petition seeking the restoration of 27 temples that were alleged to have been destroyed to construct the complex.

This comes barely two weeks after the Delhi Police detained 44 members of right-wing organisations United Hindu Front (UHF) and Rashtravadi Shiv Sena, who were chanting Hanuman Chalisa outside Qutub Minar, demanding that the centuries-old minaret be renamed 'Vishnu Stambh.'

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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