No Hindu idols inside 'locked rooms' of Taj Majal, clarifies Archaeological Survey of India

News Network
May 13, 2022

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Officials from the Archaeological Survey of India have rejected rumours of "Hindu idols from ancient times" being present inside 22 "permanently locked rooms" inside the Taj Mahal.

The statements came in the wake of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court rejecting a petition seeking a directive to the ASI to open the closed rooms inside the mausoleum.

Officials of the ASI told The Times of India that the contention in the plea is wrong on both counts. One, these rooms - officially called "cells" - are "not permanently closed" and they were only recently opened for conservation work. And two, being that all records scrutinised so far over the years "have not pointed to the presence of any idols".

"Various records and reports that have been reviewed till now haven't shown the existence of any idols," a senior official privy to the restoration work done three months ago told the publication.

"The petitioner's claim of 22 rooms being permanently locked is factually incorrect as conservation work, including filling of cracks, re-plastering and anti-ageing treatments, are periodically done. In fact, the most recent work cost us Rs 6 lakh," a senior ASI official said.

Another senior ASI official added that 100 cells in the complex that remain locked to the public are located in the basement, the upper storeys of the main mausoleum, the four minarets, inside the baolis (near the mosque) and on the Chameli floor on east, west and north sides. Besides these, several portions of the other world heritage sites in the region - Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri - have also remained closed to the public for years due to security reasons.

Several Hindutva outfits have claimed in the past that the Mughal-era mausoleum was a Shiva temple.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Bengaluru, June 23: The Income Tax department was conducting raids at the offices and buildings of some reputed private educational institutes in Bengaluru on Thursday.

According to sources, the I-T sleuths were conducting raids since early morning on Sri Krishnadevaraya Education Institution, Reva University and Divyashree Institute and others in Bengaluru.

The raids were taking place in multiple locations simultaneously. Both corporate offices and education institute buildings were raided at more than 10 places.

Sources said that an I-T officers' team from the Karnataka and Goa Zone were conducting the raids. A team of 250 officers from the Income Tax Department were involved in the action.

The raids were being conducted following complaints that the institutes were charging heavy amounts of fees from foreign students, were blocking seats and indulged in tax evasion.

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News Network
June 18,2022

Kabul, June 18: Several blasts and gunfire hit a Sikh Gurdwara in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday, according to media reports.

The blasts occurred in the Karta Parwan area of Kabul, Tolo news tweeted along with the video after the blasts. Gunfire was also reported from the area.

Karte Parwan Gurdwara is located in the area.

The casualties in the blast were unknown.

"We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurudwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments," the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi tweeted.

Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, confirmed the attack but did not provide further details or say whether there were casualties, The Associated Press reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province has in the past claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across the country.

"We heard a huge blast in Kart-e-Parwan neighbourhood at around 6 a.m. local time. The blast was followed by another explosion which occurred about half an hour after the first blast. The whole place has now been sealed off," China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an eyewitness as saying.

The security forces have cordoned off the area for precautionary measures, he said.

The blast sent a column of thick smoke into the sky and triggered panic, the witness said.

"There is fear of possible casualties. Several warning shots were also fired by the security forces," he added.

Community leaders estimate just 140 Sikhs remain in the Taliban-ruled country, mostly in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital Kabul.

In March 2020, at least 25 worshippers were killed and eight others injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed a prominent gurudwara in the heart of Kabul, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority Sikh community in the country.

The Islamic State terror group had claimed responsibility for the attack in the Shor Bazar area.

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News Network
June 21,2022

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Mandya, June 21: JD(S) MLA M Srinivas allegedly tried to slap a college principal several times in full public view for not providing prompt answers about the ongoing work at a computer lab.

The ugly incident came to light after a video had gone viral that showed the Mandya MLA purportedly making several attempts to slap the Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar ITI College principal Naganand.

Huge public outrage is pouring in on the social media against Srinivas for his misconduct.

The video purportedly depicts the MLA scolding and trying to slap him twice before his college staff and local politicians.

The principal appears to be in trauma and astonished while the onlookers are trying to pacify the MLA.

Meanwhile, the Government Employees Association on Tuesday took cognizance of the incident and pledged to bring it to the notice of Deputy Commissioner.

The association convened an emergency meeting and collected details of the incident. The members including association president Shambhu Gowda met the victim and assured him relief.

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