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After Gita row, visitors to Kalam memorial not allowed to take photographs

Rameshwaram district administration officials said the restrictions might have been imposed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation which is overseeing the upkeep of the premises.? Photograph: (DNA)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 01, 2017, 02.43 AM (IST)

After the memorial to former President APJ Abdul Kalam found itself in the middle of a controversy, visitors to the site have been prevented from taking photographs. 

The DNA newspaper reported that visitors were stopped from taking photographs by police personnel stationed at the memorial. 

DNA added that Rameshwaram district administration officials said the restrictions might have been imposed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation which is overseeing the upkeep of the premises. 

"We have not got any information on the imposition of restrictions on taking photographs inside the memorial," DNA reported sources in the district administration as saying.

The memorial to Kalam was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27. 

The controversy erupted after one of the statues of Kalam -- of the former president playing the veena -- unveiled by Modi was found to include the Bhagavad Gita. The sculpture of the Gita was placed in front of Kalam. 

MDMK chief Vaiko was the first to say that that was inappropriate considering Kalam's reputation as a man who was "above religion". 

Also read: Row over Kalam statue with Gita next to it snowballs

He added that it would have been better to associate Kalam with the Thirukural, a classic of Tamil literature, and which Kalam was reportedly fondest of. 

Other political parties also chimed in, saying pretty much the same thing. 

Following the furore, Kalam's grandnephew APJM Sheik Saleem placed copies of the Quran and the Bible near the sculpture of the Gita. 

That then -- the placing of the Quran and Bible next to the sculpture of the Gita -- was objected to by the Hindu Makkal Katchi. 

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