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The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has rejected the petition which sought to open 22 closed rooms in the Taj Mahal to ascertain the presence of the idols of Hindu deities, reported news agency ANI.

The plea was filed by Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge, who sought the directions to the Archaeological Survey of India to probe the 22 closed doors in the historic monument. 

Citing claims by some historians and Hindu groups about the Taj Mahal being an old Shiv Temple, the plea sought the constitution of a fact-finding committee and the submission of a report by the ASI.

The petition has also sought setting aside certain provisions of The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act 1951, and The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, under which the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb were declared historical monuments.

The HC's order also comes days after BJP MP Diya Kumari claimed that the land on which the Taj Mahal was built originally belonged to the erstwhile Jaipur royal family and was acquired by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan later.

She asserted that records of this are available with the family of Jaipur's ruler Jai Singh.

The MP had supported the plea in the HC and sought opening of the doors of the monument's "22 rooms" to see "the truth, whatever it is".

“It should be investigated what was there before the monument was built and people have the right to know. There are records available with the Jaipur family and it would provide these if required," said Kumari, who is also a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family.

“Compensation was given in lieu of the land but how much was it, whether it was accepted or not, I cannot say this because I have not studied the records which are there in our 'pothikhana'. But the land belonged to our family and Shah Jahan had acquired it," she added.

She said that since there was no judiciary, no appeal could have been made at that time. “Things will be clear only after examining the records."

 

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