Agra: Four tourists were booked by Agra police on Wednesday for allegedly offering 'namaz' at a mosque inside Taj Mahal premises, which is prohibited except on Fridays.
The police informed on May 26 that four tourists were arrested for offering 'namaz' at the mosque located on the premises of Taj Mahal in Agra.
It is to be noted that the Taj Mahal remains closed only on Fridays for the general public but Muslim cardholders living in nearby areas are exempted and are permitted to enter the premises to offer namaz.
However, as per the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), offering namaz on any other day at the Taj Mahal mosque is strictly prohibited.
Agra (city) superintendent of police (SP) Vikas Kumar said that out of the four people who were apprehended by the police on May 25, three hail from Telangana while one happens to be from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.
He added that six people were spotted by security officials while they were offering namaz at the mosque but two of them managed to escape from the scene.
A case was registered against the four at Tajganj police station and they were produced before the court on May 26 and were later released on bail.
"On Wednesday evening at around 7 pm, the staff of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) found six people offering 'namaz' at the mosque within Taj Mahal. CISF is the body entrusted with the duty of internal security at Taj Mahal and thus, an effort was made to nab them but two of them escaped taking advantage of the crowd within the monument premises but four were arrested," Vikas Kumar said.
"The four nabbed by CISF staff were handed over to Tajganj station police and a case was registered under section 153 (wantonly giving provocation to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code (IPS) on the complaint of CISF," the Agra superintendent of police added.
He went on to say that the matter is being investigated and necessary action will be taken.