The petition filed by five Hindu women seeking permission to perform religious rituals on Gyanvapi mosque premises is “maintainable”, a court in UP’s Varanasi ruled on Monday.
The Varanasi district court rejected the Muslim side’s plea challenging the maintainability of the suit.
The hearing on the argument on the merits of the petition will commence on September 22, 2022.
In its judgement, the court said that the Muslim side could not prove that the suit violates provisions of the UP Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 and the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
“It is clear that no bar has been imposed by the Act regarding a suit claiming the right to worship idols installed in the endowment within the premises of the temple, or outside,” ruled District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha.
Security is on high alert and Section 144 has been imposed in the Varanasi Commissionerate area. Commissioner A Satish Ganesh has directed his subordinate officers to keep a close watch on every nook and cranny. People have been appealed to maintain peace and harmony to prevent any untoward incident.
Lakshmi Devi of Laksa Surajkund in Varanasi, Sita Sahu of Saraigovardhan Chetganj, Manju Vyas of Ramdhar Varanasi and Rekha Pathak of Hanuman Phathak, had filed a petition referring to history and Puranas seeking the right of worship of Mata Shringar Gauri, located in the Gyanvapi complex.
In the petition, the women have mentioned the Puranas as well as the history of the temple and its structure. They have demanded that they be allowed to worship the Shringar Gauri Sthal located in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex, as it was in the pre-1991 era. In this, the respondent is Chief Secretary of Government of Uttar Pradesh, District Magistrate Varanasi, Commissioner of Police, Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid (which maintains the Gyanvapi Masjid) and Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.
Police On Alert
According to the application, a grand temple of Adisheshwar Jyotirlinga was present near Dashashwamedh Ghat. It was established millions of years ago by Lord Shiva himself in Treta Yuga, it said. It has been claimed that this Gyanvapi complex is located on plot number 9130. The old temple complex contains Mata Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Nandiji, and other deities, the petition said. The invaders damaged the temple several times during 1193-94, it added.
“Hindus built/restored the temple at the same place. In 1585, Raja Todarmal, the then Governor of Jaunpur, built a grand temple of Lord Shiva at the same place on the behest of his Guru Narayan Bhatt. Aurangzeb had issued a decree to demolish the temple in 1669 AD. After partially demolishing the ancient temple of Lord Adi Visheshwar, a new one named ‘Gyanvapi Masjid’ was constructed there,” the application claimed.