HYDERABAD: Amid all the myriad visits paid by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to Bhagyalakshmi Mandir as part of their campaign for the GHMC elections, it seems to have slipped from their minds that the Archaeological Survey of India, has time and again maintained that the said temple is an encroachment.
In the past few days, the temple has turned into the go-to destination for political leaders who came from New Delhi for campaigning. In fact, Union Home Minister Amit Shah too visited the temple. However, ASI from the 1960s have maintained that the temple is an encroachment. Former ASI-Hyderabad Superintending Archaeologist Milan Kumar Chauley had said, "Our office from the 1960s has been sending letters to the district administration to remove the temple."
In 2018, the body in a letter to DGP M Mahender Reddy had in a strongly-worded letter to take caution against the temple. "It is very surprising that police are helping in the expansion of an illegal temple challenging the very structural integrity of one of the most iconic monuments of the country (Charminar)," the letter said.
In fact, the ASI on record has clarified that it was the temple that cost Charminar a nomination for the World Heritage Site tag. In a counter affidavit dated December 20, 2019, accessed by The New Indian Express, the ASI said, "World Heritage Site tag was rejected because of this (the temple) and structures in its vicinity."