'Allow Hindus to pray at Bhojshala on Friday Basant Panchmi'



Allahabad: A group of Hindu religious leaders at the ongoing Maha Kumbh mela have demanded that devotees be allowed to offer prayers at the disputed 'Bhojshala' in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district on 'Basant Panchmi' which falls on February 15, a Friday.

Bhojshala is an ancient Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monument which Hindus believe is a temple of goddess Waghdevi (Saraswati) while Muslims treat it as a place of worship for them.

As per an ASI arrangement, Hindus perform puja in the premises every Tuesday, while Muslims offer Namaz on Fridays.

With 'Basant Panchami' falling on Friday this year, Shankaracharya Narendranand Saraswati in a statement yesterday urged the MP government to take appropriate steps and allow Hindus to perform their prayers or else he said, "the state (MP) government should be ready to face its consequences".

The religious leader alleged that in 2006 when Basant Panchami had fallen on a Friday, Hindus were prevented from offering prayers.

Mahamandaleshwar Yatindra Giri, another signatory to the statement, said religious leaders would leave Kumbh mid-way and proceed to Bhojshala if a similar incident was repeated.

PTI