Hyderabad: Officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have removed empty liqu-or bottles from a mosque at the Golconda Fort and barricaded it with bamboos. The bottles were believed to have been thrown away by devotees who visited the fort for Bonalu.
Photographs of some youth sitting in a mosque situated at the Nazri Bagh inside the Fort with liquor bottles have gone viral on social media, upsetting local Muslims.
Officials claim that the devotees were not aware that they were sitting in the mosque as there were no signboards to indicate that the structure is a mosque.
There are five mosques inside the Golconda Fort, but none of them are in use.
Karwan MLA Kausar Mohiuddin on Monday interacted with the officials of the ASI and expr-essed his anguish over the sacrilege of sanctity of the mosque and asked to maintain the sanctity of mosques inside the Fort.
Mr. Osman bin Moham-med Alhajiri, a Congress leader and Deccan Waqf Properties Protection Society president, has also submitted a petition to the superintending archaeologist Milan Kumar Chaulay and demanded him to maintain the sanctity of the mosques inside the Fort.
Though ASI regulations do not allow liquor inside a protected monument, he said ASI officials failed to check if the devotees were carrying the liquor bottles inside the monument.
He asked the government to take action against the officials.
The ASI officials, however, clarified that it was not possible to frisk the devotees during the Bonalu festival as they arrive thousands in numbers.
Understanding the sensitivity of the issue, ASI Venkateshwar Rao said we have cleaned the floor of the mosques and washed with water. “Now we have posted security guards to guide the visitors.”
Two local youth — Fahad bin Jubair and Shaiykh Riyaz — have lodged a complaint before Golconda Police Station about the sacrilege of sanctity of the mosque....