ASI shuts Aurangzeb’s tomb in Aurangabad for five days

Aurangzeb's Tomb, with marble jaali (latticed screen) around it. [Photo :Wikimedia/Colomen]

Maharashtra: Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s tomb in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad was on Thursday closed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for five days.

The development came amid massive controversy in Maharashtra over AIMIM member  Akbaruddin Owaisi’s recent visit to Aurangzeb’s tomb in the state’s Aurangabad district leading the ASI, which protects the monument, to close it for five days.

“Earlier, the mosque committee tried to lock the place but we opened it. On Wednesday, we took a decision to shut the tomb for the next five days. We will review the situation and then decide to open it or keep it closed for another five days,” the ASI’s Aurangabad circle superintendent, Milan Prasad Chauley, told news agency PTI.

“The tomb of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb will remain closed for five days to ensure that the law and order situation in the state does not get affected,” news agency ANI, too, reported the closure, quoting deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

Meanwhile, ASI’s action came after a mosque committee in Aurangabad’s Khultabad, where the structure is located, tried to lock it after a tweet by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) memeber, Gajanan Kale, in which he questioned the need for the tomb’s existence and said it should be destroyed.

Akbaruddin Owaisi’s May 12 visit took place at a time when the major political parties in Maharashtra-the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance (Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress) on one side and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), MNS on the other- were engaged in bickering over issues such as the ‘azaan on loudspeaker and Hanuman Chalisa’.


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