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Prayer leaders object to stopping Namaz at Taj mosque

Prayer leaders object to stopping Namaz at Taj mosque
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New Delhi: The All India Imam Federation (AIIF) has strongly objected to the decision of the Archaeological Survey of India to ban offering of namaz at the mosque in Taj Mahal premises on all days, except Friday.

Speaking to news agency ANI, AIIF president Sajid Rashidi termed the decision as wrong, accusing the ASI of having “double standards”.

The AIIF president questioned as to why such decision was implemented in just Taj Mahal and not at mosques in 123 properties, which are under the ASI in the national capital.

“The decision by the ASI is wrong, and they cannot have such double standards. In Delhi, they have around 123 properties, and within those 123 properties there are several mosques, they even wrote a letter to the Wakf board asking them to appoint imams in those mosques,” said Rashidi.

Alleging that the move was aimed at creating a “rift between Hindus and Muslims”, the Imam also hit out at the central government. He said, “What are these double standards? And why did they choose this particular time for coming out with such an order? All these government institutions, be it the CBI or the RBI, all of them are under pressure. All this is being done to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims,” he added.

Another Muslim cleric, Mufti Mukarram said that the decision was unjustified, pointing that “people have been offering namaz at Taj Mahal since long without any problems”.

“ASI’s decision is wrong and unjustified, there is no explanation for it. People have been peacefully offering namaz there since a very long time, without any problems. Mosques are built to offer prayers, and it is our fundamental right given to us by the Constitution. ASI shall take back their order with immediate effect,” said Mufti Mukarram.

Justifying its decision to ban namaz at the mosque, which is in the premises of Taj Mahal, the ASI had said that it was merely following an order of the Supreme Court, concerning the security of Taj Mahal. According to reports, the “vazu tank” of the mosque was locked by the ASI on Sunday.

In July, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging Agra authority’s order that debarred outsiders from offering prayers on Fridays at the mosque in Taj Mahal complex. The top court had said that the historic Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world so people should offer prayers at other mosques.

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