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ASI says, Shah Jahan had clearly said Taj Mahal must be looked after by the government

India TV News Desk 21 Nov 2014, 17:37:12 PM IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Dr Syed Jamal Hassan, director of Archaeological Survey of India, which looks after the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra, today said, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had clearly decreed that the 17th century monument should be looked after by successive governments.

Dr Hassan told India TV that Shahajahan Nama, the biography of Emperor Shah Jahan, clearly mentions this decree by the Mughal ruler.

"After Mughal rule ended, the British rulers looked after the Taj Mahal, and since Independence, the government of India through the Archaeological Survey of India is looking after this world famous monument of love.

"ASI has qualified experts to carry out conservation work of this 35-year old monument. It's next to impossible for the Sunni Muslim Central Waqf Board to look after Taj Mahal. ASI had been looking after Taj Mahal since December 22, 1920", said Dr Hassan.

His reaction comes in the wake of a demand by UP minister Mohammed Azam Khan, that the Taj Mahal be handed over to the Waqf Board because it is the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Begum.

Azam Khan had claimed that the money earned from tourists at Taj Mahal, will be used to fund at least two Muslim universities.