The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday, 24 May, opposed a petition in a District Court in Delhi, which sought the restoration of 27 ‘temples’ that were allegedly destroyed to construct the Qutub Minar complex.
While admitting that there were a number of sculptures existing within the Qutab Minar complex, the statutory body stated that since 1914, the monument had been protected under Section 3(3) of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904 (AMASR Act) and was being maintained in situ in the same condition, LiveLaw reported.
Stating that the petition violates the AMASR Act, the ASI asked the Delhi court to dismiss the suit, which was filed on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev through Hari Shankar Jain, alleging that the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid situated within the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex.
The petition has sought the restoration of the ‘temple complex’ allegedly comprising as many as 27 temples.
This also 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.’