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Right-wing activists demand renaming of Qutub Minar as Vishnu Stambh, detained

The protest at Qutub Minar, where heavy police barricading could be seen outside the complex to prohibit entry into the ASI protected monument, was supposed to start at 1 pm.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2022 1:10:55 am
Heavy police barricading outside Qutub Complex on Tuesday.

Activists of the United Hindu Front and Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena were Tuesday detained near Delhi’s Qutub Minar, where they had gathered to recite the Hanuman Chalisa. The right-wing outfits have claimed that the Qutub Minar was originally a Vishnu temple and should be named ‘Vishnu Stambh’.

The protest at Qutub Minar, where heavy police barricading could be seen outside the complex to prohibit entry into the ASI protected monument, was supposed to start at 1 pm. Protesters were asked to move to Bhool Bhulaiya, a few metres away to stage their demonstration. By around 1:10 pm, they had already been loaded into buses by the Delhi Police and detained, as they shouted slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ with saffron flags in their hands.

BJP leader Jai Bhagwan Goyal, who is also the national president of Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, alleged he had been kept under house arrest at his home in Shahdara since 7 am. As of 2 pm, he alleged, they were still stationed at his home.

Protestors were loaded into buses by the Delhi Police and detained, as they shouted slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ with saffron flags in their hands.

“Since 7 am, the SHO and ACP Vijay Nagar have been present at my home with 10-15 people. They told me they have orders from the CP (commissioner of police) that I should not be allowed to reach there. We had given a call for reciting the Hanuman Chalisa at the Qutub Minar, demanding that it be declared as Vishnu Stambh since it was made by breaking down 27 temples,” said Goyal.

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In the memorandum submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday, Goyal said the “so-called” Qutub Minar was actually an old Vishnu temple. “It is well known that and specified clearly on the walls of the complex that it was constructed from the material got after demolishing 27 temples. There are statues of Hindu gods in the complex. Any self-determined Hindu can feel angered by seeing the Ganesh idols inside. The idols of Ganesh have been kept upside down and inside a cage to insult Hindu sentiments,” he said.

Goyal said Qutubuddin Aibak is considered to be the architect of the monument, however, many historians have said this is the deed of “chatukaar (sycophant) Muslim writers” and that the actual architect was Chandragupta Vikramaditya.

“We appeal to you to rebuild the 27 temples which were demolished and allow Hindus to pray on the premises… It is our long-awaited demand that the idols of Ganesh and other gods kept in the Minar should be shifted to a respectable place like a Museum, and pooja-aarti be restarted in the temple like earlier. As there was a grand Vishnu temple at this place, it should be named as the Vishnu Stambh,” wrote Goyal.

Benita Mary Jaiker, DCP(South), said, “Permission for the protest, which had 50 persons of United Hindu Front and Rashtravadi Shiv Sena, was not granted. Forty four people have been detained under Delhi Police Act section 65.”

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