Hindus can worship in Gyanvapi Masjid, Indian court to hear plea

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An Indian court has ruled that it will continue to hear a petition filed by some Hindus seeking daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located in the Varanasi city’s Gyanvapi Masjid, Uttar Pradesh, dismissing the mosque committee’s argument that the case is not maintainable.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Varanasi District Judge A K Vishvesh rejected the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s petition questioning the maintainability of the case, which has reignited the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Masjid dispute.

On Monday, much to surprise of many, the Varanasi court declared the petition seeking permission for Hindu worship in one of the country’s highest-profile mosques maintainable.

Gyanvapi mosque, located in the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is one of the several mosques in northern Uttar Pradesh whose Hindu hardliners want possession on the so-called argument that they built on top of demolished Hindu temples.

Separately, the Allahabad High Court which is hearing another case – dating back to 1991 – on the temple-mosque dispute on Monday fixed September 28 for its next hearing.

The mosque is located next to the iconic temple and the case in the Varanasi court revived the mantra that the mosque was built on a portion of the Hindu structure demolished on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

In May, India’s Supreme Court had overturned a local order to ban large Muslim prayer gatherings in the Gyanvapi mosque after Hindus claimed to have ‘found’ relics of the Hindu god Shiva.

The Supreme Court order had come a day after a local Varanasi court ruled that Islamic gatherings in the Gyanvapi mosque should be limited to 20 people. The local court had ordered the survey of the mosque after five women sought permission to perform Hindu rituals in one part of it, saying a Hindu temple once stood on the site.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had subsequently filed the application against the maintainability of the plea by the Hindu litigants, arguing that it violated the “Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which states that the religious character of a place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 cannot be changed”, the Scroll reported.—KMS

 

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