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VHP Men Uproot Steel Gate Near Taj Mahal, Say it Blocked Way to Temple

The incident took place barely 350 metres away from the monument’s West gate, a high security zone, and caused panic among tourists.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:June 12, 2018, 9:43 PM IST
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VHP Men Uproot Steel Gate Near Taj Mahal, Say it Blocked Way to Temple
File photo of the Taj Mahal.
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Lucknow: Members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) created a ruckus near the Taj Mahal on Tuesday as they staged a protest against a newly installed steel gate, which they said blocked one of the routes to a 400-year-old Siddheshwar temple.

The incident took place barely 350 metres away from the monument’s West gate, a high security zone, and caused panic among tourists.

Frames were being fixed for installing the steel gates and Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) at the West Gate of the Taj Mahal by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) when the right-wing activists arrived at the scene, raised slogans and removed one of the gates. They were armed with iron rods and were accompanied by members of the Siddheshwar Mahadev temple committee.

ASI has lodged an FIR against 20-25 people under sections 147 (riots) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC and section 7 of the CLA Act for damaging public property, circle officer of Taj Mahal security, Prabhat Kumar said.

VHP officer bearer, Ravi Dubey, one of the five people named in the FIR, threatened to uproot the gate again if it was reinstalled.

“ASI blocked the way to the Mandir, that’s why we were protesting. How can anyone block the way to a temple? We had informed ASI officials beforehand but they did not pay heed to our requests. We cannot let this happen at any cost,” he told News18.

Additional city magistrate Garima Singh, who also reached the spot, has admitted that the protesters flouted norms and such kind of protests should not have happened in the area.

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| Edited by: Parth Sharma
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