Govt tells Parliament: 11 monuments encroached | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt tells Parliament: 11 monuments encroached

The Union Ministry of Culture has admitted in Parliament that while 11 monuments under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been encroached upon, it has lodged more than two-dozen complaints regarding ‘unauthorised prayers' being offered at protected monuments in Delhi. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2010 23:57 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The Union Ministry of Culture has admitted in Parliament that while 11 monuments under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been encroached upon, it has lodged more than two-dozen complaints regarding ‘unauthorised prayers' being offered at protected monuments in Delhi.

The ASI registered as many as 36 complaints regarding unauthorized prayers at the Jamali Kamali monument at Mehrauli during March-August 2009.

The 36 complaints led to the lodging of one FIR, Parliament was informed.

Replying to a question raised by Rajya Sabha member Anil Madhav Dave regarding similar prayers being offered at the Kotla Feroz Shah, the ministry said it had lodged 31 complaints during August and September 2009, which were clubbed in one one FIR.

Similar complaints were registered at Khirkee Masjid, where, like the other two monuments, unauthorized namaz was stopped by police.

Further, answering another question by Lok Sabha members P.C. Gaddigoudar and Suresh Chanabasappa Angadi about the steps the government had taken to keep the monuments free of encroachment, the government replied that the Superintending Archaeologists are empowered to remove encroachments under the provisions of section 19 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

The number of encroachments at ASI-protected monuments has, according to the government's own admission, come down to 11 from 12.