Qutub Minar not a place of worship: ASI

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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on 24 May  opposed a plea before a Delhi court seeking restoration of Hindu and Jain deities inside the Qutub Minar complex, saying it is not a place of worship and the existing status of the monument cannot be altered.

  • The ASI pointed out that when Qutub Minar was first notified as a protected monument in 1914, the complex was not a place of worship.

  • The ASI explained that the form or nature of a monument is decided on the date when it comes under protection.

  • What is the case?

  • The original suit claimed that 27 temples were demolished for the construction of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in the Qutub Minar complex.

  • The petition was dismissed last year under the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

  • The Additional District Judge (ADJ) has now reserved the order.

  • The petitioner submitted that it was wrong to dismiss the original suit based on the 1991 Act.

  • The Qutub Minar complex comes under the purview of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act of 1958.

  • About Qutub Minar

  • It is a soaring, 73 metre high victory tower, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom.

  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli region of South Delhi.

  • It is a five-storied tower made of red sandstone.

  • Its Surrounding there is the Alai-Darwaja Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311).

  • Its construction was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1193 and finished by Iltutmish.

  • Qutub Minar and its monuments were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993.

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