Following allegations on Sunday that the Ministry of Culture had directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to start excavations at Delhi’s Qutub Minar, ministry sources told The Indian Express that no such instructions had been issued. G K Reddy, Union Culture Minister, also confirmed, adding, “No such decision has been taken.”
Culture Secretary Govind Mohan visited the monument on Saturday, following which the ASI was asked to begin excavations to determine if the UNESCO World Heritage Site was erected by Qutubuddin Aibak in the 12th Century or by the Gupta Empire much earlier. The Ministry emphasized that it was a routine site inspection by its staff, and that no such decision had been made thus far.
Former ASI regional director Dharamveer Sharma was cited a few days ago as suggesting that the Qutub Minar was actually a “sun tower” erected in the 5th century by Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta Empire.
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