ASI closes Aurangzeb’s tomb in Aurangabad after MNS threats

After the massive controversy that was sparked off following AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s visit to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s tomb in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra recently, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has closed his tomb for five days, according to news agency PTI. Earlier, the mosque committee in the area had tried to lock the place.

In a tweet, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) spokesperson Gajanan Kale on Tuesday had questioned the need for the monument’s existence in the State and said it should be destroyed.

“What is the need for Aurangzeb’s grave in the land of Shivaji Maharaj? Demolish this grave, so that no separatists(like Owaisi) will come to bow on it. Even Balasaheb Thackeray had said the same, don’t you want to listen to anything of Balasaheb?” Kale tweeted.

Later, a mosque committee in Aurangabad’s Khultabad area, tried to lock the monument, which is under the protection by the ASI. Subsequently, the ASI deployed additional security guards at the monument.

“Earlier, the mosque committee tried to lock the place, but we opened it. On May 18, we took a decision to shut the tomb for next five days,” Milan kumar Chauley, Aurangabad circle superintendent of ASI told PTI,

“We will review the situation and then decide to open it or to keep it closed for another five days,” he said.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s visit to the tomb on May 8 was criticised by the ruling Shiv Sena as well as the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, sparking a new controversy in Maharashtra.

Several BJP leaders even demanded that Owaisi should be booked under sedition charges. Meanwhile, NCP’s Sharad Pawar wondered if such an act was aimed at creating a new controversy in the state which has been peaceful.

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