Man claimed Qutub Minar built on his ancestral land. Judge rejects his request

Published on Sep 20, 2022 06:28 PM IST

The application asserting his claim over Qutub Minar was filed in in appeals by two advocates on behalf of Jain Tirthankar Rishabh Dev and Hindu god Vishnu, seeking right to worship at Qutub Minar

Members of a right-wing group recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the Qutub Minar demanding that it be renamed as 'Vishnu Stambh' in May 2022. (HT File Photo/Amal KS)
Members of a right-wing group recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the Qutub Minar demanding that it be renamed as 'Vishnu Stambh' in May 2022. (HT File Photo/Amal KS)

NEW DELHI: An application by a man who claimed that the land on which the Qutub Minar complex stands was his ancestral property has been rejected by a Delhi court, clearing the path to resume hearing the pleas that sought restoration of the right to worship for Hindus and Jains at the Quwwat-Ul-Islam mosque.

Additional district judge Dinesh Kumar said that the arguments on the main suit will start on October 19.

The man, Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh filed an application claiming to be the heir of the ruler of the United Province of Agra and claimed a right over the property where the mosque stands.

In his application, Singh said he is the heir of Raja Rohini Raman Dhawaj Prasad Singh who died in the year 1950. According to him, the Besean family descended from Raja Nand Ram who had died in 1695.

He claimed that the Beswan Avibajya Rajya Beswan Estate Hathras Estate, Musran Estate and Brindaban Estate from Mahabharata Period, which included areas from Meerut, Agra, Bulandshahr, Aligarh and Gurugram between the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers continued to be inherited for generations from 1873 to 1950. This, according to the plea, also meant that his family holds all the territories of the United Province of Agra.

During court proceedings, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) trashed the application and asked the judge to impose costs on the man for wasting the court’s time, saying it was just a publicity stunt.

ASI has also opposed the original request for revival of worship, underlining that the 12th-century monument and a World Heritage Site was not a place for prayers, nor can it be revived as one under the law. It also stressed that no community has worshipped at Qutub Minar or anywhere inside the complex after it was notified as a protected monument in 1914.

Advocate Hari Shankar Jain and Ranjana Agnihotri filed a petition on behalf of Jain Tirthankar Rishabh Dev and Hindu god Vishnu. The petition cited a short history purportedly displayed by ASI which, according to the plea, narrates how 27 temples were demolished and the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised by reusing the material.

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