New Delhi : The Saket court in Delhi has resumed its hearing on a plea seeking restoration of Hindu and Jain temples that were purportedly demolished hundreds of years ago in the Qutub Minar complex in Delhi.
On the petitioner’s demand to worship Hindu deities within the complex, the judge said
The deity has survived for 800 years without any worship. Let them survive like that.
Advocate Harishankar Jain, on behalf of the petitioner, had said, “If a deity is destroyed, the deity does not lose its divinity or sanctity. There are idols in the complex. The Supreme Court says that if the deity survives, the right to worship survives.”
On the advocate’s insistence that the constitutional right to worship was being denied, the judge said, “The right to worship can be restricted over public order.”
QUTUB MINAR CONTROVERSY
The Qutub Minar controversy, similar to the current Gyanvapi mosque row, erupted after ASI’s ex-regional director Dharamveer Sharma claimed that the Qutub Minar was constructed by Hindu emperor Raja Vikramaditya and not by Qutb al-Din Aibak, to study the direction of the sun.
It was also claimed that idols of Hindu deities had been found in the complex.
Earlier, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) spokesman Vinod Bansal claimed that Qutub Minar was actually ‘Vishnu Stambh’ and the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque was built in the complex with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples.
WHAT ASI SAID
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday submitted its reply on the Qutub Minar case in court. It opposed the plea to revive the temple at the location.
It said that the Qutub Minar has been a protected monument since 1914 and its structure cannot be changed now. “The revival of worship cannot be allowed at a monument where such a practice was not prevalent at the time of it being granted the “protected” status,” the ASI said.