New Delhi: The ASI has banned the offering of Namaz in the Mughal Mosque located in the historic UNESCO World Heritage Qutub Minar complex, located in the capital of the country. The Imam of the mosque, Maulana Sher Mohammad, has told that the ASI has banned the offering of Namaz. He told that he has been the Imam of the mosque for the last 47 years. However, now an explanation has come from the government regarding this. Senior officials said religious practices are allowed in the premises of ASI-protected sites only if they were serving as places of worship when they took over.
An official of the Culture Minister said on Monday that the policies of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) do not allow worship at inanimate places. The official said, 'ASI's policies prohibit worship at inanimate places. No such order has been issued yet and this rule already exists. Even before this, ASI had written a letter that according to the policy, Namaz should be stopped there. The last such instruction was sent a few months back.
Earlier, controversy had erupted over reports that the ministry has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct excavations in the Qutub Minar complex. However, Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy had rubbished these reports. Reddy said that no such decision has been taken so far. Following the controversy the site was visited by a delegation of Culture Secretary Govind Mohan and several ASI officials, following which more rumors started pouring in. Ministry officials said the yatra was already regular and it had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the 'excavation of the premises'.