In what appears to be a jolt to Hindu petitioners, the high Court in Varnasi has rejected their petition seeking carbon dating of the purported ‘Shivling’ found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
Earlier this year, the Hindu petitioners claimed that the ‘Shivling’ was found in the Gyanvapi mosque during a video survey conducted on the orders of a lower court in response to a petition. The petition filed by five Hindu women sought permis-sion for puja inside the mosque complex.
However, the Muslims had maintained that the structure found at the Masjid was a fountain, not Shivling.
The Hindus demanded carbon dating and other scientific tests of the Shivling-like structure. The Hindu petitioners contended that it was necessary to determine its age claiming ancient idols of Hindu deities are located inside the mosque.
The Gyanvapi mosque is located in Varanasi, the constituency of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is one of the several mosques that Hindutva hardliners believe were built on temples.
It was one of the three temple-mosque rows, be-sides Ayodhya and Mathura, which the BJP raised in the eighties and nineties, that gained prominence.—KMS