Agra: Archaeological Survey of India has banned Muslims from offering namaz at the mosque in Taj Mahal premises on all days except Fridays. ASI is responsible for research and conservation of cultural monuments in the country.
Citing security of Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court had upheld the local administration’s order barring non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque.
Until now any visitor who had bought a ticket could visit the mosque and offer namaz; while on Fridays the residents are allowed to offer namaz between noon and 2 pm without paying any entry fee.
However, according to the report of the Times of India the ASI on Sunday (4 November) locked the ‘value tank’ where namazis clean themselves up before offering prayers, leaving several tourists disappointed. Superintending archaeologist of ASI (Agra circle), Vasant Swarankar said that the move was in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. He added that Namaz can be offered on Friday, that too by residents only.