Varanasi court upholds suits seeking worship rights at Gyanvapi mosque

Gyanvapi Masjid
View of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Dham and Gyanvapi Masjid complex, in Varanasi, Saturday, May 14, 2022. Photo: PTI

Varanasi: The Varanasi district court on Monday rejected the plea questioning the maintainability of a petition seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

District Judge A K Vishvesh ordered that it would continue to hear the petition seeking the right to worship in the temple.

Five women had filed the petition seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are claimed to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and has questioned the maintainability of the plea.

The district judge had last month reserved the order till September 12 in the communally sensitive matter.

The court fixed September 22 as the next date of hearing in the case. The case is being heard by the district court following an apex court order.

Earlier, a lower court had ordered a videographic survey of the complex. The survey work was completed on May 16 and the report was presented in the court on May 19.

The Hindu side had claimed in the lower court that a Shivling was found during the videographic survey of the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri complex, but it was contested by the Muslim side.

Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh had on Sunday said prohibitory orders have been clamped in the Varanasi commissionerate area and officers have been asked to interact with religious leaders in their respective areas to ensure that peace is maintained.

To maintain law and order, the entire city has been divided into sectors which have been allocated police force as required, he said, adding directives for flag march and foot march in sensitive areas have also been issued.

Checking has been intensified in the district's border areas, hotels and guest houses, while an eye is being also kept on social media, the police officer said.

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