Updated: Sun, 22 May 2022 03:39 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Dismissing the media reports on Centre's order to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct excavation and iconography of idols at the Qutub Minar complex, Union Culture Minister GK Reddy on Sunday said "No such decision has been taken," by the government.
The clarification comes amid media reports that the Union Ministry of Culture has directed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct excavation and iconography of idols at the Qutub Minar complex.
The reports claimed that Union Ministry of Culture officials have directed ASI to dig-in “to know the facts”. It also said that the decision was taken after the Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Govind Mohan, visited the World Heritage monument on Saturday.
Further, media reports claimed that the ministry has also asked the ASI to submit its excavation report and start the work in the south of the minaret at a distance of 15 meters from the mosque.
The development came amid the row over Gyanvapi Mosque survey. ASI’s ex-regional director Dharamveer Sharma claimed that the Qutub Minar was not constructed by Qutb al-Din Aibak but by Raja Vikramaditya to study the direction of the sun.
"It isn't Qutub Minar but a sun tower (observatory tower). It was constructed in the 5th century by Raja Vikramaditya, not by Qutb al-Din Aibak. I have a lot of evidence regarding this," he was quoted as saying in a TV interview.
Members of a right-wing group also claimed the structure was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) spokesman Vinod Bansal claimed that Qutub Minar was actually 'Vishnu Stambh'.
“Qutab Minar was actually ‘Vishnu Stambh’. Qutub Minar was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples. The superimposed structure was built just to tease the Hindu community," Vinod Bansal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier, on May 10, Hindu groups staged a protest demanding that the iconic monument be renamed ‘Vishnu Stambha’. They recited Hanuman Chalisa outside the Qutub Minar complex pressing their demands. Around 30 demonstrators were detained and taken to a police station for this and were released later.