Security has been tightened at Taj Mahal after Shiva Sena threatened to perform aarti at the monument every Monday on the holy month of Sawan.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has requested the Agra district administration to beef up security. Shiv Sena president of Agra Veenu Lavania had challenged the district administration on July 17 from stopping him and his aides from doing the rituals at Taj Mahal.
Lavania claimed that Taj Mahal is not actually a mausoleum but a temple named Tejo Mahalaya, which was dedicated to Lord Shiva. They claim that Emperor Shah Jahan had built the monument over a Shiva temple.
The ASI had written a letter stating that under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958, any kind of religious practice and beginning of a new tradition in the protected monument is against the rules of the Act.
Additional District Magistrate (ADM) KP Singh said that no person would be allowed to disturb the law and order situation in the city. He said that proper arrangements would be made as per ASI's request, reported IANS.
According to the AMASR Act, the area in the vicinity of the monument is a prohibited area. The area within 200 meters of the monument is a regulated category and any repair or modifications of buildings in this area requires prior permission.
Right-wing groups had earlier stormed into Taj Mahal and performed sacred rituals claiming it to be a temple. In 2018, a group of women had performed a puja in the mosque inside the monument.