On August 18, a Varanasi court sought a reply from Uttar Pradesh Government, Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust and Gyanvapi Mosque Management committee as five Hindu women filed a plea seeking restoration of their right to worship of deities inside the old temple complex.
In the plea, it has been mentioned that the temple complex was converted into a mosque during Mughal rule in the region.
Justice Ravi Kumar Diwakar, Senior Civil Judge, Varanasi Court, sought the response of the commissioner of police and District Magistrate Varanasi on the suit filed by the women. The plea is led by a Hindu woman Rakhi Singh. Advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain argued in Court that the devotees have the right to worship the deities, visible or invisible, inside the complex of Old Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The original Kashi Vishwanath temple complex was destroyed by Aurangzeb during his regime.
Jain further added that the defendants should be ordered not to interfere in the fundamental religious rights of the plaintiffs’ which included decorating idols of Bhagwan Ganesh, Bhagwan Hanuman, Devi Gauri and Nandi in the temple. He requested the Court to pass a temporary injunction directing defendants not to damage the idols.
The Judge set a date for resolution of objections on September 10 and said, “In the present case, the government of UP has been made a defendant by the plaintiffs. Therefore, it is necessary to hear the defendant. The plaintiffs should plead for notice on the defendants within three days.”
Centre and UP government asked to file reply on a petition challenging ASI survey
In another news, the Allahabad High Court directed the state government and Centre to file their responses to a petition challenging the order of a Varanasi court that directed ASI to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex to find out if a temple was destroyed to build the mosque. Justice Prakash Padia issued the direction over a petition filed by Anjuman Intazamia Masjid, Varanasi and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board. The court will hear the case on September 29.
Attempts to reclaim temple land
The fight to reclaim the temple land on which Gyanvapi Mosque stands has been going on for decades. However, in recent times, there has been notable progress. In February 2021, a suit was filed to restore the worshipping of deities in the mosque complex. In April 2021, Court allowed an ASI survey of the mosque. A 5-member team including two Muslims were appointed for the same. A petition seeking a stay on the survey was later filed in Allahabad High Court.