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NEW DELHI: Members of a fringe Hindu outfit staged a protest near Qutub Minar in Delhi on Tuesday demanding the centuries-old minaret be renamed Vishnu Stambh.
The outfit holding the agitation near the UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Delhi’s Mehrauli area was identified as Mahakal Manav Sewa, Indian media reported.
A heavy police force was deployed in the area. According to some reports, some of the fringe elements also chanted Hindu devotional song Hanuman Chalisa on the premises of the historical complex.
Last month, a Delhi court had directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) not to remove two idols of Lord Ganesha from the Qutub Minar complex here till further directions.
Earlier this year, the right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) spokesman Vinod Bansal had claimed that Delhi’s famous monument Qutub Minar was actually “Vishnu Stambh.” He claimed that the monument was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples.
“Qutab Minar was actually ‘Vishnu Stambh’. Qutub Minar was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples. The superimposed structure was built just to tease the Hindu community,” the spokesman told Indian media. He also demanded all the 27 temples which were demolished in the past built again.
Qutabuddin Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement.
His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last floor. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited tourist spots in the city.