A petition has been filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court regarding opening up of 20 locked rooms in Taj Mahal. The petition has sought directives to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to open these rooms to ascertain whether Hindu idols and inscriptions are hidden there
Who has filed the petition?
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) media in-charge of Ayodhya district, Dr Rajneesh Singh has filed the petition. Advocate Rudra Vikram Singh is representing the petitioner in court.
What is the controversy?
There is an old controversy related to the Taj Mahal. Around 20 rooms in 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. Several right-wing organisations claim Taj Mahal to be Tejo Mahalaya, a Hindu temple.
Rajneesh Singh said he has been trying to ascertain facts about the 20 locked rooms of Taj Mahal since 2020 through the Right to Information Act (RTI). He filed an RTI in 2020 with the union ministry of Culture seeking information about the rooms.
Replying to the RTI, the union ministry of Culture informed the Central Information Commission (in Delhi) that these rooms were locked due to security reasons and nnd no detail was provided about these rooms. After all his efforts failed, now he has filed a petition in the court.
About Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself.
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.