Court Commissioner Denied Entry in Mosque Complex, Survey Will Still Go On 

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Court-appointed official and a team of attorneys conducted an assessment of a mosque in Varanasi in relation to a request for access to a Hindu temple behind it. 

Court Commissioner Denied Entry in Mosque Complex, Survey Will Still Go On 
Image Source – ndtv

VARANASI

Yesterday, a court-appointed official and a team of attorneys conducted an assessment of a mosque in Varanasi in relation to a request for access to a Hindu temple behind it. Today they are likely to see the continuation of the survey and filming at the Gyanvapi Mosque, which is located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. 

After Friday prayers, a perimeter inspection of the mosque’s exterior was conducted. During the inspection conducted by a court-appointed commissioner and a group of attorneys, the ground was swarmed with security personnel. 

A municipal court ordered the inspection in response to a petition filed by five women last year. The petitioners have requested unlimited, 365-day access to the Maa Shringar Gauri site, located behind the western wall of the mosque. Currently, the location is accessible once a year for rituals and prayers. 

The five women’s petition also requested permission to pray to “seen and invisible deities” within the ancient temple compound. The local court has ordered officials to visit and videotape the location by May 10 and provide a report. 

The caretaker committee of the Gyanvapi mosque and its attorneys have expressed opposition to any form of videography within the mosque. The caretakers assert that the court’s order prohibits videotaping within the mosque; however, the opposing counsel asserts that they have the court’s approval. 

This is the latest controversy in a decades-long conflict over the religion and legal authority of followers, similar to the one in Ayodhya, where some Hindu organizations think, a temple was partially demolished to make way for the Gyanvapi mosque, which was constructed in the 17th century. In 1991, local Hindu priests petitioned the courts for permission to pray on the mosque grounds. The proceedings were eventually put to a halt by the Allahabad High Court in March. 

In December 2019, however, a local Hindu man submitted an appeal to the civil court as the “next friend” of the temple’s presiding deity, Swayambhu Jyotirling Bhagwan Vishweshwar. A next friend is a representative of a person who is incapable of pursuing a lawsuit directly. 

A Varanasi civil court ordered an archaeological examination of the Gyanvapi complex last year, citing the need to determine claims that the mosque was constructed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb following the partial destruction of a Hindu temple. This ruling was challenged before the Allahabad High Court, which halted all proceedings and will likely hear the matter regularly. 

On Friday afternoon, Kumar and his team began the survey and inspection in the presence of other teams from the Masjid Committee and the government of Uttar Pradesh. Outside the compound, a large police presence was deployed, according to a senior officer. The place is on high alert due to rising tensions between the temple & mosque. 

A huge number of individuals performed namaz at the Gyanvapi mosque before the commencement of the survey, and as the survey crew entered the compound, around 50 individuals began chanting slogans against the survey. As a result, Hindu organizations mobilized and screamed religious slogans, aggravating the situation. The demonstrators were ultimately evacuated by police. 

The survey will resume today at 2.30 PM. According to Madan Mohan Yadav, the claims are without merit, and the attorney commissioner is conducting the survey per court order. The court has ordered that the survey report be submitted before the next hearing on May 10. 


Published By – Chirag Agrawal

Edited By – Naman Raina

Naman Raina
Naman Raina
Naman Raina is a Journalist with a keen interest in politics, religion, culture, human rights and international rights. An Intersectional Feminist by nature, he has been always vocal about 'Fight For Your Rights.' Currently, he's pursuing his Majors in Communication from Amity University. A strong believer in the beautiful Latin Phrase 'Audentes Fortuna Iuvat' - (Fortune Favours The Bold), he has always lived up to it.

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