The government today said no official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the CISF was involved in the reported incident of foreign models being asked to remove saffron scarves before entering the Taj Mahal. “The government has received reports from the CISF and the ASI in this connection. As per the reports, such action had not been taken either by any CISF personnel or by any employee of the ASI,” the Culture Ministry said in a release.
It said the Superintending Archaeologist, Agra has confirmed that the persons “seemingly collecting” the scarf from a lady tourist are neither employees of the ASI nor of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
“It appears that these persons could be guides or members of the group of the lady tourists. This angle is being enquired into separately. Local police has also been directed to enquire in to this aspect,” the ministry said.
It said there is no restriction on colour, design or inscriptions on the scarf or dress for visiting the Taj Mahal.
Thirty-four models are representing their country in the 11-day Supermodel International Contest which started on April 12.
During their visit to the world famous 17th century monument, some of them covered their head with saffron scarves to protect themselves from the heat.
When they were about to enter the monument, they were reportedly asked to remove the scarves.
The incident evoked protest from some Hindu outfits including the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) which said it hurt their religious sentiment.