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Published in the 1-15 May 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Taj Mahal mosque Imam gets Rs 15 as salary 

The Milli Gazette Online

Lucknow: There is a monthly income of crores of rupees from Taj Mahal, but the Imam who leads prayers at Taj Mahal’s mosque is paid a monthly salary of Rs 15 only. The Imam and his forefathers have been Imam of the mosque for generations. The mosque is now under the supervision and control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Member of Uttar Pradesh Minorities Commission, Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqi Advocate in a detailed letter to the ASI has demanded the payment of a suitable salary to the Imam. He said that common people are not allowed to offernamaz at this mosque and only those people are allowed to offer prayers here who have entry tickets to the monumnet. On Fridays the mosque is opened for a few hours for people to offer Friday prayers.

In his letter to the ASI director, Siddiqi has written that nude photos have been put up in Art Gallery in the south of Taj Mahal compound in order to attract tourists but people who go there for offering prayers and Faateha are pained to see those nude photos. He has also written that the ASI does not allow people to see the lower portion of the tomb.

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