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Allow prayers in ASI monuments, Shoaib to PM

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Delhi Assembly Deputy Speaker Shoaib Iqbal today appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allow Muslims to offer prayers at all historical mosques under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

According to a press release issued by his office, Mr Iqbal made the demand during a meeting with the PM here.

The ASI closes the historical mosques at 1800 hrs whereas Muslims offer the ''Meghrib Namaz'' at 2030 hrs, he pointed out to the PM, also demanding that staff sensitive to such Muslim customs be posted at these mosques.

Apart from early closure, tourists visiting the 35-40 such mosques in Delhi pay scant attention to such cultural details as removing shoes on entry and of being appropriately clothed, he complained.

According to the release, Dr Singh said he would sympathetically consider the demand.

Mr Iqbal also raised concern over the demolition of illegal constructions in Delhi and of the Rafiquddin dargah in Vadodara and sought adequate steps to protect harassed Delhi residents and stop the recurrence of the Gujarat-like incidents.

UNI VN VD RN1827

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