The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday 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 also said the fundamental right of the applicant cannot be availed in violation of the existing status of the land. Taking note of the ASI submission that ”the Qutub Minar is not a place of worship and that the existing status of the monument cannot be altered,” Additional District Judge Nikhil Chopra reserved the order on the plea for June 9.
The court reserved the order on a suit filed by advocate Hari Shankar Jain on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev, claiming that 27 temples were partly demolished by Qutubdin Aibak, a general in the army of Mohammad Gauri, and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex by reusing the material.
Jain stated that there were two idols of Lord Ganesha, situated on the premises since times immemorial and that he apprehended that the ASI was likely to remove them to one of the National Museums as mere artifacts.