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ASI, CISF troopers defuse communal tensions at Taj
October 27, 2012
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AGRA: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and troopers guarding the Taj Mahal had been told not to bar people unless they were specific orders to do so, an official said on Friday, defusing tensions that arose after women wearing Ram Navami stoles were stopped at the entrance of the monument.

Trouble had been brewing since Tuesday when Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel stopped the group of women at the entrance to the 17th century mausoleum.

The women were told to deposit their dupattas at the counter if they wanted to see the Taj Mahal.

This led to hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, led by MP Ram Shankar Katheria, on Thursday demonstrating at the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal and demanding action against the guards.

The Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad also demonstrated outside the ASI office. Trouble ended after a formal complaint was made against the CISF personnel.

“The matter has now been resolved. We have asked the CISF and the ASI not to stop people unless they had specific orders or directions from the headquarters. They should seek clarifications on this issue.

“India is culturally so diverse and is a secular country. People can wear anything and present themselves in myriad colours, if they so choose,” Arun Prakash, additional district magistrate, said.

A senior CISF official added that the carrying of banners or any publicity material inside the mausoleum was forbidden and therefore security personnel stopped the women who were sporting saffron Ram Navami dupattas.

Taj Mahal, the love monument that attracts tourists worldwide, is located in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, UP government was slammed for being “a complete failure” in maintaining law and order and communal harmony.

Akhilesh Yadav government has come under fire from the opposition parties, a day after communal clashes in Faizabad and Barabanki areas left nine people injured.

Angry opposition leaders accused the Samajwadi Party-led government of being “a complete failure” in maintaining law and order and communal harmony.

Leader of opposition in the assembly Swamy Prasad Maurya called Wednesday’s incidents as a “complete law and order machinery break down.” BJP blamed the minority appeasement policies of the government for the communal strife.

Indo-Asian News Service

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