Hindu sculptures exist, but they are worshiped against the law: ASI on Qutub Complex

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS): Opposing a plea calling for the restoration of Hindu and Jain temples and deities at the Qutub Minar complex, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said on Tuesday that although there are existence of Hindu carvings inside the locals, worshiping inside the protected monument at the center would be against applicable laws.

Basic rights cannot be invoked in violation of any land statute, the archaeological body said in an affidavit.

“The basic principle of protection/conservation is not to allow the start of any new practice in a monument declared and notified as protected under the law. The resumption of worship is not authorized wherever it is not not practiced at the time of the protection of a monument,” It said.

“It will be contrary to the provisions of the AMASR law of 1958 (Law on ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains) to accept the assertion of the respondents or any other person claiming a fundamental right of worship in this monument protected at the level central,” he said. said in the affidavit.

The ASI submissions came during the appeal hearing challenging the dismissal of a claim alleging that the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid located in the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex.

Earlier on February 22, authorizing the appeal, Additional District Judge Pooja Talwar had sought the response of the Union of India through the Ministry of Culture, the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Superintendent Archaeologist, Delhi Circle, ASI in the matter.

“The Qutub Minar is not a place of worship and from the time of its protection by the central government, the Qutub Minar or any part of the Qutub Minar was revered by any community,” the official said. ‘ASI in his affidavit.

During the hearing, ASI’s attorney argued that the caller’s apprehensions were misplaced because the agency was not considering removing or moving the idols at this time. Moving the idols would involve various clearances from different agencies and have national implications as it would amount to a political decision, the attorney said.

The appellant alleged that around 27 Hindu and Jain temples were desecrated and damaged in 1198 during the reign of the slave dynasty ruler Qutub-Din-Aibak, prompting the construction of the said mosque in place of these temples.

The ASI, in its submission, stated that there is no denial of fact regarding the presence of the deities. He said architectural materials and images of Hindu and Jain deities were reused in the construction of the Qutub Minar complex.

“It is very clear from the registration in the complex which is open to the public,” he said.