Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists took to the streets and allegedly removed a 10×11 feet steel gate installed by the Archaeological Survey of India at the western entrance of the iconic Taj Mahal, claiming that it blocked the path to a 400-year old temple. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has lodged a case against 30 protesters.
According to reports, ASI was laying down frames for installation of turnstile gates and door-frame metal detectors at the western entrance of the Taj Mahal when VHP activists started shouting slogans and then allegedly vandalised the gate.
Ravi Dubey, a VHP functionary, was quoted as saying that the gate was blocking passage to Siddeshwar Mahadev temple at Basai Ghat alongside the western wall of Taj Mahal. The temple, claimed to be 400 years old is said to have been in existence prior to Taj Mahal.
The members of VHP are said to have requested but the ASI didn’t pay heed to their demands.
A video of the incident was posted by a TV channel in which the activists of the fringe group could be seen holding hammers and iron rods while trying to vandalise the gate of the historic monument.
The incident has come in the wake of BJP MLA Surendra Singh threatening to rename Taj Mahal to ‘Ram Mahal’ or Krishna Mahal’, though he added that there was no need to demolish the monument, considered to be a symbol of love.