50 right-wingers recite 'Hanuman Chalisa' outside Qutab Minar, 44 detained

New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) The Delhi Police on Tuesday detained 44 right wing activists from outside Qutab Minar in the national capital after they reached there to recite the 'Hanuman Chalisa' (a Hindu prayer).
 
50 right-wingers recite 'Hanuman Chalisa' outside Qutab Minar, 44 detained

New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) The Delhi Police on Tuesday detained 44 right wing activists from outside Qutab Minar in the national capital after they reached there to recite the 'Hanuman Chalisa' (a Hindu prayer).

A total of 50 people affiliated to right wing groups had gathered outside the world heritage site Qutab Minar to recite Hanuman Chalisa on a call given by United Hindu Front (UHF) Working President, Jai Bhagwan Goyal.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (south Delhi) Benita Mary Jaiker said no permission was granted to the activists to gather there. "The 50 people that gathered there belonged to United Hindu Front and Rashtravadi Shiv Sena," the DCP said. Of them, 44 activists were detained under section 65 (Persons bound to comply with the reasonable directions of police officers) of the Delhi Police Act.

Meanwhile, there was heavy police deployment outside the Qutab Minar complex. United Hindu Front (UHF) president Jai Bhagwan Goyal, who had given a call to reach the complex at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, while exclusively speaking to IANS, said that he was placed under house arrest since morning at his residence in Delhi's Shahdara area. "At least 10-15 police personnel were outside my house. They were not allowing me to leave," the UHF president said. When IANS contacted Delhi Police, a senior official said Goyal has not been placed under house arrest. "We received instructions from the south Delhi police not to allow Goyal to reach the Qutab Minar," official sources said, adding that the police has been deployed just to ensure that Goyal does not reach Qutab Minar.

"He is not under house arrest," the source told IANS.

The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret for the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer.

"First stop calling it a Qutab Minar. When Qutab-ud-din Aibak came to India, he demolished Hindu and Jain temples and started calling it Qutab Minar. This is not Qutab Minar, it is Vishnu Stambh. Its name should be immediately changed," Goyal demanded. He added that several Hindu idols are still present inside the complex and many of them are broken, which is proof that a temple was demolished there. "At least allow us to religiously immerse those idols which are broken and lying inside the complex," said Goyal.

He demanded that those idols, which are not broken, should be installed there and people should be allowed to visit and pray.

According to Delhi Tourism, Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu king. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top.

--IANS

uj/khz/bg