ASI shuts Aurangzeb's tomb in Maharashtra for 5 days after row over AIMIM leader's visit

Akbaruddin Owaisi's visit to the monument, located in Aurangabad, has triggered a major faceoff between his party and other political parties in the state.
AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's recent visit to Aurangzeb's tomb in Aurangabad stoked a major controversy. (File Photo/ANI)
AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's recent visit to Aurangzeb's tomb in Aurangabad stoked a major controversy. (File Photo/ANI)
Published on May 19, 2022 12:11 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Amid massive controversy in Maharashtra over AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's recent visit to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's tomb in the state's Aurangabad district, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which protects the monument, announced on Thursday it was being closed for five days.

Also Read | AIMIM stirs communal pot with Akbaruddin Owaisi’s Aurangzeb tomb visit

“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) leader, Gajanan Kale, in which he questioned the need for the tomb's existence and said it should be destroyed.

Also Read | 'Lions move on…': Owaisi responds to Sena fury over Aurangzeb tomb visit

Akbaruddin Owaisi's May 12 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. The Asaduddin Owaisi-led outfit received severe flak for his younger brother paying respect to a ‘tyrant.’

Also Read | ‘These people come to Maharashtra and...': Sharad Pawar slams Owaisi over Aurangzeb tomb visit

“Listen to me Owaisi, even a dog even will not urinate on the identity of Aurangzeb,” BJP leader and Maharashtra's leader of opposition, former CM Devendra Fadnavis, said in a public rally last Sunday.

 

The row is also resonating outside the western state, with the mayor of Uttar Pradesh's Agra calling for removal of all plaques bearing the Mughal ruler's name.

(With agency inputs)

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