Ayodhya: A Varanasi court in Uttar Pradesh has agreed to hear a case related to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which were in the spotlight after the Babri Masjid verdict. For the past few years, controversial comments about the Gyanvapi Mosque have been on the rise on social media.
On April 8, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) approved an inspection of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex near the Kashi Viswanath Temple to see if it had been built on top of each other, or if there had been any structural changes.
The order, which replaces a petition filed by advocate VS Rastogi on behalf of the temple’s self-proclaimed Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Visvesvara last December 2019, where it is feared to cause waves similar to the demolition of a Babri Masjid.
The management of the Gyanvapi Mosque, also known as the Anjuman Indesamiya Masjid (AIM), has objected to the order.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has asked for at least two members of the panel to be given priority in the study.
Background of the case:
The first petition related to this controversy was filed in 1991. The case, filed by the Kashi Viswanath Temple Trust, alleges that ‘a temple was built by Maharaja Vikramaditya about 2,050 years ago and then demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1669 to build a mosque using the ruins’.
Also, about a century later, it was alleged that the present Kashi Viswanath Temple was built next to the mosque in 1780 by Ahilya Holkar, the Queen of Indore.
In 1998, the Anjuman Indesamiya Masjid (AIM) appealed to the Allahabad High Court, arguing that the controversy could not be settled because places of worship were banned by law. Following this, the Allahabad High Court stayed proceedings in the case.
About 22 years later, in 2019, lawyer Rastogi filed another petition asking the ASI to begin an investigation into Gnanvapi. Against this, in January 2020, AIM filed its objection.
The present judgment of the present Varanasi court is the result of Attorney-at-Law Rastogi’s approach to the Varanasi Lower Court in February 2020 with a request to ‘reopen the trial as the High Court has not extended the stay on the case for the last six months.
But the order, issued by the Varanasi Civil Court, is in violation of the Provisions of Worship Act. The law, introduced by the Congress government in 1991, prohibits the conversion of any place of worship from one religion to another or to another sect within the same religion. The Babri Masjid-Ram birthplace issue was already exempted from the law as it was already in the case.
When asked about the PWA Act, Advocate VS Rastogi argued that “the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act does not apply in this case and that the mosque was built on a partially demolished temple and many parts of the temple still exist today.”
Who said what:
The Akhil Bharatiya Agar Parishad, a Hindu religious organization, spoke in September 2020 about launching a campaign to “liberate Hindu temples” in Varanasi and Mathura through Ram Janmabhoomi.
In an interview with The Hindu, Saeed Yasin, joint secretary of the Anjuma Indajamiya Masjid and the caretaker of the mosque, said in an interview with The Hindu regarding the Varanasi court order, “We hope that peace will prevail after the Babri Masjid case.” But it seems that the courts and those in power do not want that. ” As regretted.