The Varanasi court has ruled that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi Masjid, where worship was stopped in the year 1993
VARANASI: The Allahabad High Court on Friday refused to grant an interim stay on the Varanasi court order that allowed Hindu prayers before idols in ‘Vyas Ji ka Tahkhana’– a cellar in the basement of Gyanvapi mosque. The Gyanvapi management committee had moved the High Court challenging the Varanasi court’s January 31 order.
Meanwhile, devotees gathered outside ‘Vyas Ji ka Tahkhana’ on Friday morning to sing bhajans after the district administration unsealed it on the court’s order.
The Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi is set to witness its first ‘Jumma’ (Friday) prayers since ‘puja’ started in ‘Vyas Ji ka Tahkhana’. To maintain law and order in the city, the district administration has made adequate deployment of police officials outside the mosque premises.
The Muslim side has also called for a ‘bandh’ in the area to protest against the court order. The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee (AIMC), which manages Gyanvapi mosque, has appealed to members of the Muslim community to keep their shops closed today.
Security has been increased outside the mosque complex after prayers were allowed inside its basement. Barricading has been erected on both the Lahurabir and Gadoliya sides of the complex.
Prayers were performed by members of a Hindu priest’s family in the basement of the mosque complex on Wednesday after a district court ordered the administration to unseal the premises, 30 years after it was sealed on the orders of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, shortly after the Babri Masjid demolition.
The Varanasi court ruled that a Hindu priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.
The prayers will be conducted by a “pujari” nominated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust.
The mosque committee on Thursday moved the high court within hours of the Supreme Court refusing to hear its plea against the Varanasi district court’s order and asking it to approach the Allahabad High Court.
The counsel for the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, S F A Naqvi, said they have requested an urgent hearing in the matter.
In the appeal filed before the high court, it has been pleaded that the Hindu side’s suit itself is barred by order 7 rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, Naqvi said.
The plea has also alleged that the main purpose behind filing the suit was to create a controversy over the functional Gyanvapi mosque where regular namaz is offered. A caveat was also filed by the Hindu side regarding the matter.
The Muslim side has also filed a plea in district court seeking a stay for 15 days on puja inside the basement
Meanwhile, the Hindu side has filed a caveat, seeking that it should be heard before the court passes any order.
Shailendra Kumar Pathak, who had petitioned the Varanasi district court seeking the right to worship there, had claimed that his grandfather, Somnath Vyas, offered “puja” there up to December 1993, when it was stopped by the administration.
The Hindu side’s lawyer, Madan Mohan Yadav, has said the “puja” stopped there during the tenure of then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav after the Babri masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.
Prayers were offered before the idols in the cellar on Wednesday night following the Varanasi court order, Kashi Vishwanath temple trust president Nagendra Pandey said. “Vyasji’s cellar was opened for prayers after 31 years,” Pandey said.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer Subramanian Swamy has decided to implead in a suit related to the worship of Shringar Gauri and other deities in the Varanasi district court.
“We’ve applied for the certified copy of the pending suits. I’ll receive them on behalf of Dr Swamy on Thursday and thereafter we’ll implead,” Swamy’s legal associate and advocate Vaidushya Parth said according to a report by Times of India.
As per Swamy, here is a bunch of suits lying before the Varanasi district court seeking relief to worship Maa Shringar Gauri and other deities on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi complex, which is located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Furthermore, signboards indicating ‘Gyanvapi mosque’ were vandalised by members of the Rashtriya Hindu Dal by posting ‘mandir’ and ‘temple’ stickers in place of ‘mosque’.