New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to allow offering of Namaz by outsiders or non-locals on the premises of Taj Mahal, stating the monument’s preservation is paramount. “The historic Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world, so it should be kept in mind that no Namaz will be offered there. There are other places where one can do that,” the top court ruled.
Earlier in January this year, the district administration in Agra had issued a directive stating only local residents with valid identity proof will be allowed to enter Taj Mahal to offer Juma namaz on Fridays. The administration had issued the advisory following complaints that ‘outsiders’, including Bangladeshis and ‘non-Indians’ enter the mosque on Fridays despite it remains shut for visitors on that day.
The advisory issued by Additional District Magistrate (city), KP Singh noted that entry of such people can adversely affect the security of the world class monument. “In case any outsider tries to enter the mosque, the DM should be informed immediately,” the directive mentioned.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2013 had banned foreigners from offering Juma namaz or Friday prayers at Mumtaz Masjid, after a group of Bangladeshi tourists gained entry to Taj Mahal.