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ASI registers case for security breach at Taj

Last Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 17:25

Agra: The Archaeological Survey of India
(ASI) here has registered a police case for a suspected
security breach after a helicopter made four unannounced
sorties over Taj Mahal-- a protected heritage monument.

The incident took place on December 14 when ASI officials
and CISF security personnel deployed to guard the 17th century
monument spotted a helicopter flying above it and the chopper
repeated its sorties for three more times.

"We have lodged a complaint with the local police
regarding the incident which is a breach of security of the
monument. We have been told that a television crew onboard the
helicopter had taken permission from the Union Home Ministry
and Civil Aviation ministry for taking shots of the monument
but we were not informed about it," ASI Conservator Munazzar
Ali told news agency.

Sources said the helicopter was spotted four times--
0935-0945 hours, 1500-1510 hours, 1625-1630 hours and the last
one at 1720 hours, sending the Central Industrial Security
Force (CISF) personnel into tizzy on December 14.

Both the ASI and CISF have informed their headquarters
in Delhi and the agencies are now trying to check how did the
lack of communication happened and the units in Taj Mahal were
not informed about the air exercise.

Sources said personnel of a private firm were onboard the
private helicopter to shoot a promotional campaign of the
heritage monument.

"Taj Mahal is a protected monument by the ASI. The
Supreme Court has ruled that there can be no unauthorised
activity including photography and videography in the
500-metres vicinity of the monument and hence as a stipulated
measure we have informed the police," Ali said.


First Published: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 17:25
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