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Descendant of Agra's royal family claims ownership of Qutub Minar; ASI demands dismissal of plea

ASI's plea was made during Civil Judge Dinesh Kumar of the Saket courts' hearing of case involving renovation of Hindu, Jain temple and deities.

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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Wednesday challenged the intervention plea submitted by a man who claimed to be the heir of an Agra royal family and sought ownership of Qutub Minar, questioning why he had kept silent for the last 150 years without bringing any case before a court.

The ASI's plea was made during Civil Judge Dinesh Kumar of the Saket courts' hearing of the case involving the renovation of the Hindu and Jain temples, as well as the deities, at the Qutub Minar complex. The dispute over temple repair took a turn when Kunwar Mahendra Dhwaj Prasad Singh filed an intervention petition through lawyer M.L. Sharma, claiming to be the heir of the unified province of Agra and requesting the right to land from Meerut to

Agra.Subash C. Gupta, an attorney representing ASI, said during the hearing that the guy has been holding on to rights to huge and large territories in multiple states for the past 150 years without bringing the matter before a court. "He wakes up some morning and comes to this court as an impleader without any basis," the ASI submitted.

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It also mentioned a case when a woman, Sultana Begum, claimed to be the spouse of the great-grandson of the previous Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, and claimed ownership of the Red Fort. The ASI said that the court rejected the plea simply on the basis of delay without considering the arguments.
 
On September 13, the court will take up the subject once more. The petitioner was claimed to be a member of the Beswan Family and the successor of Raja Rohini Raman Dhawaj Prasad Singh, as well as a descendant of Raja Nand Ram, who had passed away in 1695, in the intervention request.

"When Aurangzeb became firmly established on the throne, Nand Ram submitted to the Emperor and was rewarded with the Khidmat zamindari, revenue management of Joar and Tochigarh," read the plea. Another family member, Raja Rohini Raman Dhawaj Prasad Singh, was in power when British India and its provinces attained freedom and independence in 1947, according to the claim made in the petition.

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The petitioner countered that following India's acquisition of independence in 1947, the Indian government didn't sign any treaties, accede to any other countries, or come to any agreements with the ruling dynasty."The Central government, state government of Delhi and state government of Uttar Pradesh without due process of law encroached upon the legal rights of the applicant and misused the power, allotted, allocated and death with the property of the applicant," it said further.

The main lawsuit in the case claimed that around 27 Hindu and Jain temples were ruined and desecrated in 1198 while being ruled by Slave Dynasty Emperor Qutub-ud-din-Aibak, who built the aforementioned mosque in their place. Under the direction of the Slave Dynasty Emperor, the temples were destroyed, vandalised, and otherwise harmed. In response, a new structure was built nearby and given the name Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque.

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(With input from IANS)

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