Lawyer sends notice to ASI, seeks excavation of mosque near Agra Fort

Advocate Mahendra Pratap claims idols from Mathura temple are buried under Agra mosque

Updated - June 03, 2022 01:33 pm IST

Published - June 02, 2022 10:01 pm IST - New Delhi

Agra Fort. File

Agra Fort. File

With the Shahi Idgah Mosque-Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple dispute in the courts of Mathura, a plaintiff in the matter on Thursday sent a legal notice to the Union of India and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) asking that they stop people from entering the Begum Sahiba Masjid near the Agra Fort and excavate the site to look for Hindu idols.

Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, whose suit in the temple-mosque dispute is currently being heard by a civil judge in Mathura, claimed that Mughal emperor Aurangazeb had after allegedly destroying the temple in Mathura, buried "jewel-studded" idols of Lord Krishna under the staircase of the Agra mosque.

The notice under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure threatens to drag the government to a civil court unless it acts on it within the stipulated time of two months. In addition to asking that visitors be "immediately" stopped from entering the Agra mosque, the notice asks the ASI to excavate the mosque site, retrieve the idols allegedly buried there, and restore them to the Keshav Dev Temple authorities in Mathura.

Mr. Singh said the notice had been served to the Union of India, the Director-General of the ASI and local ASI officials in Mathura and Agra.

‘Bid to demean Hindus’

In the notice, Mr. Singh claims that the idols were buried under the mosque in Agra because the Mughal emperor allegedly wanted to demean Hindus by having people "trample over the idols" every time they visit the mosque. He adds that thousands of people visiting the mosque every day by "trampling on the idols" continues to hurt the religious feelings of crores of Hindus like him.

The notice comes days after Mr. Singh had filed an application in a Mathura court seeking directions to the ASI that the Agra mosque be excavated on the aforementioned grounds. However, the court had returned the matter and said the notice needed to be first served to the respondents in the matter, given that they are government authorities.

The Shahi Idgah Mosque management committee is currently defending at least six different civil suits, claiming ownership of the land on which the mosque is built, as part of the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple. The next hearing in these suits is now scheduled for the first week of July.

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