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Mosque painted 'saffron' in Varanasi ahead of PM Modi's visit; repainted white following objections


Varanasi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected visit to Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on December 13, a mosque on the road leading to the temple has been painted "saffron" by the authorities, reported PTI quoting a masjid committee panel member.

However, following objections raised by members Muslim community, the mosque located in the Bulanala area was repainted white. Areas in and around the ₹ 800-crore project are being painted saffron ahead of its inauguration by PM Modi on December 13.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities over the claim but an official had earlier said all buildings on the road are being given an uniform colour, which is "light pink".

Mohammad Ejaz Islahi of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee said that the mosque which was white in colour was painted saffron with out consulting with the masjid committee. He alleged that is was done under a "conspiracy" and they submitted their objection to the Kashi Vishwanath temple office.

Efforts were also made to raise the objection before the district magistrate but he could not be met, Islahi said.

"Later, the administration understood this and the mosque is being painted white," PTI quoted Islahi as saying.

Sunil Verma, Secretary of the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, had earlier said the buildings on the road leading to shrine are being given an uniform colour.

Most structures in the area are made of sandstone, which is of "light pink" colour, he had said.

The buildings of the area are being painted with this theme, he had added.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Anil Rajbhar responded to the incident by lashing out to those who objected to the mosque being painted saffron. "India's colour is saffron. Why this hatred towards it? It's India's identity. The colour symbolises both India and God. What's the objection to it? If I had my way, I'd paint the entire country saffron," he said.

Calling those opposed to the saffron colour "narrow-minded", he said there was no difference between temples and mosques as both house Gods and should be saffron in colour. "Those who are opposing it don't know about saffron. Narrow-minded people are opposing it. They can keep opposing, the government doesn't care, nor do I," he added.

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TAGS:Uttar PradeshMosquePM ModiVaranasikashi vishwanath temple
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