No role in saffron scarf issue at Taj, says government

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New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The government on Sunday denied any involvement of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in restricting foreign models from entering Taj Mahal wearing saffron scarves inscribed with name of Lord Ram.

A couple of international models, sporting such scarves, were reportedly asked to remove them when they were about to enter the 17th century monument last week.

“There is no restriction on colour, religious design or inscriptions on the scarves or dresses of visitors coming to see the Taj Mahal,” said a Culture and Tourism Ministry statement, adding no CISF personnel or ASI officials were involved.

It also said that there are no such provisions and the ASI has also not issued any such circulars.

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According to the statement, cigarettes, lighters, chewing gums, chocolates etc. were deposited in the cloak room but no scarf was sought to be removed.

“The CCTV footage related to this incident is in the custody of the CISF. It is evident in the footage that those tourists were granted entry into the Taj complex wearing the saffron scarves with Ram naam written on it,” it said, adding that Agra’s Superintending Archaeologist has confirmed that the persons collecting the scarves were neither from the ASI nor the CISF.

“It appears that these people getting the scarves removed could either be guides or members of their group. Local police has been directed to look into this aspect,” said the statement.



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