Right-wing group moves Agra court against annual Urs at Taj Mahal

Agra Court has accepted the petition and has fixed March 4 as the date of hearing in the matter

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

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

Agra Court has accepted the petition and has fixed March 4 as the date of hearing in the matter.

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The celebration of three-day ‘Urs’ will take place this year from February 6 to February 8.

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 Yamuna in Agra.

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.'”

He added, “The petitioner has also objected to having entry free at Taj Mahal for Urs.”

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 on the basis of 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. ASI replied that neither Mughals, nor the British government or the Government of India have allowed ‘Urs’ celebration in the Taj Mahal,” Sanjay Jat told PTI.

He added, “So, on that basis we have filed a petition seeking for the prohibitory injunction, stopping the organisers of Shahjahan ‘Urs’ Celebration Committee, headed by Saiyyad Ibrahim Zaidi, from celebrating the ‘Urs’ at Taj Mahal.”

The three-day Urs sees the rituals of ‘chadar poshi’, ‘sandal’, ‘gusul’, ‘kul’ and others.

On the last day of the ‘Urs’, a ‘chadar’ 1,880-metre-long or more is offered.

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