The district administration did not allow anyone wearing black T-shirts or shirts to enter a rally addressed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here today to thwart any attempt to show black flags at the event. Uttar Pradesh Muslim Mahasangh had threatened to show black flags to Adityanath on his arrival in Agra, with its president Chaudhary Farhan alleging that the chief minister had disrespected the Taj Mahal by not including it in the state’s tourism promotion booklet. Before addressing a rally here, Adityanath swept the road outside the Taj Mahal and then went inside the Mughal era monument in a damage control exercise following the controversy over its place in Indian heritage. The police officials manning the entry gates of the public rally at the Government Inter College grounds sent back several people, mostly youngsters, who were wearing black T- shirts or shirts.
Though policemen remained tight-lipped about the issue, a senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, said that those youngsters who were sent back were suspected people and they would be allowed to enter later. Another official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that they had been instructed that no one should interrupt the rally. However, nobody wearing black T-shirt or shirt could manage to enter the rally.
Some youngsters, who had taken off their black T-shirts and tied them on their waists to enter the rally, were also sent back by the police. More than 14,000 policemen have been deployed across the city for the security of the Chief Minister. There was a controversy after the UP government did not mention the Taj Mahal in the states tourism booklet with many people criticising the Yogi-led government for ignoring the UNESCO world heritage site.