BJP leader wants to open Taj Mahal rooms to look for 'Hindu idols'
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has filed a petition in India's Allahabad High Court to open 22 closed rooms of the Taj Mahal to ascertain reports of "hidden" idols of Hindu deities.
Rajneesh Singh, BJP's media in-charge of Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya district, filed the petition on May 4, 2022, before the Lucknow bench of the High Court and sought directions to the Archaeological Survey of India to probe what lies behind the 22 closed doors in the Taj Mahal, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The petition is yet to come up for hearing.
The plea has sought the setting up of a fact-finding committee and the submission of a report by ASI.
The petition claimed the idols are kept in the closed rooms. It cited claims by historians and Hindu groups about the monument being an old Shiva temple.
"Some Hindu groups are claiming the monument as an old Shiva temple, supported by many historians and facts. However, many historians believe it as Taj Mahal built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Some people also believe that Tejo Mahalaya at Taj Mahal appears to be one of the Jyotirling i.e. the Siva temples," read the petition.
"Around 20 rooms in the Taj Mahal are locked and no one is allowed to enter. It is believed that in these rooms, there are idols of Hindu gods and scriptures," Singh said.
"There is no harm in opening these rooms and putting to rest all controversies," he said.
The petitioner said he has been trying to ascertain the facts since 2020 through the Right to Information Act.
"Replying to the RTI, the Union Ministry of Culture informed the Central Information Commission (in Delhi) said that these rooms were locked due to security reasons," said Singh.
And no details were provided about these rooms, he added.