Right-wing body approaches Agra court against annual Urs at Taj Mahal

The period is observed to mark the death of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who got the Taj Mahal constructed in 1653 on the banks of the Yamuna river

Taj Mahal (photo: IANS)
Taj Mahal (photo: IANS)
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NH Political Bureau

A right-wing organisation has filed a petition in an Agra court seeking a prohibitory injunction against the observation of the 'Urs' at the Taj Mahal.

The petitioner, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, has also challenged the free entry for 'Urs' inside the Taj Mahal.

The court accepted the petition and fixed 4 March as the date of hearing.

The three-day 'Urs' event will take place this year from 6 to 8 February.

The period is observed to mark the death of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who got the Taj Mahal constructed in 1653 on the banks of of the Yamuna river.

Petitioner's counsel, Anil Kumar Tiwari, said, "On Friday, the petitioner ABHM, through its divisional head Meena Diwakar and district president Saurabh Sharma, filed a petition in the Court of IV Additional Civil Judge (Junior Division) Room No 4 at Civil Court premises in Agra.

"They have sought for a permanent prohibitory injunction against the committee celebrating the 'Urs. The petitioner has also objected to having free entry for the Urs at the Taj Mahal."

ABHM spokesperson Sanjay Jat contended that the body had filed the petition on the basis of an RTI which revealed that neither the Mughals, nor the British allowed Urs to take place inside the Taj.

"The petition has been filed based on an RTI filed by a Raj Kishore Raje, an historian of Agra city. In the RTI, he asked ASI who permitted 'Urs' celebration and 'Namaz' in Taj Mahal premises. The ASI replied that neither the Mughals nor the British government nor the Government of India have allowed the 'Urs' celebration in the Taj Mahal," Sanjay Jat told PTI.

"So, on that basis we have filed a petition seeking the prohibitory injunction, stopping the organisers of Shahjahan 'Urs' Celebration Committee, headed by Saiyyad Ibrahim Zaidi, from celebrating the 'Urs' at the Taj Mahal."

The three-day 'Urs' sees the rituals of 'chadar poshi', 'sandal', 'gusul', 'kul' among other events.

On the last day of the 'Urs', a 'chadar', measuring 1,880 metre or more, is offered.

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