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Gyanvapi survey: Know about five women petitioners who came together to seek unrestrained right to worship Maa Shringar Gaur

Interestingly, 5 Hindu women namely Laxmi Devi, Rakhi Singh, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak filed the petition in the Varanasi court on 18 August 2021 seeking permission to worship the deities of Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, and Nandi regularly, as well as barring opponents from harming the statues inside the disputed Gyanvapi structure.

The discovery of the Shivling in the disputed structure of the Gyanvapi Masjid in the state of Uttar Pradesh has become a contentious issue with the Hindus celebrating the court-monitored survey and the Islamists deliberately demeaning it. Some of the journalists like Arfa Khanum Sherwani (Senior Editor Wire) questioned the Court over the survey and pondered why the court allowed the petitions that defied the Places of Worship Act, 1991 in the first place.

She said that the Places of Worship Act, 1991, clearly prohibits conversion of places of worship as they existed on 15th August 1947. “History should not be used as an instrument to oppress the present generation. Why should courts allow petitions that defy Places of Worship Act?”, she tweeted on May 16, hours after the Shivling was found from below the area where Muslims washed their hands and feet before offering namaz.

Also, people like AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Rana Ayub, a journalist who is accused of swindling money in the name of donation disrespected the Court orders and called upon Muslims to not lose the disputed structure at any cost. “They must know that we will not lose any more of our mosques. We know all your tactics,” Owaisi remarked while Ayub tweeted, “EVERY DAY A BABRI. EVERY DAY A TRIGGER”. Many more suffered a meltdown as the Shivling was unearthed from inside the disputed structure of the Gyanvapi mosque and questioned the petition based on which the Court had ordered a videography inspection.

Five Hindu women join forces to move the court for seeking an untrammelled right to worship inside the disputed Gyanvapi structure

Interestingly, it was 5 Hindu women named Laxmi Devi, Rakhi Singh, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak who filed the petition in the Varanasi court on 18 August 2021 seeking permission to worship the deities of Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, and Nandi regularly, as well as barring opponents from harming the statues inside the disputed Gyanvapi structure. The Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, then on April 26, 2022, ordered videography of the Shringar Gauri temple in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex and adjoining places.

Sita Sahu one of the petitioners in the case, revealed on May 18 that all the lady petitioners in the case have been regularly offering prayers to the deity of Maa Shringar Gauri and that they were harassed for entering the disputed structure. “We all Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, and Rekha Pathak used to worship Maa Shringar Gauri. We became friends as we all started used to meet on the spot and conduct Satsang. We all wanted to exercise our right to worship the deity but the devotees were harassed. They (management of the Mosque) used to allow us only an hour to worship Maa Shringar Gauri even on the occasion of the full moon of Chaitra Navratri”, she said.

Sahu added that the petitioners then decided to take legal help. She stated that Dr. Sohanlal and Advocate Hari Shankar Jain helped them to act legally against the Mosque Management. “Dr. Sohanlal is the husband of Laxmi Devi (one of the petitioners). He already had worked on some similar cases in the year 1996. He then introduced us to Advocate Hari Shankar Jain who helped us in filing the petition”, Sita said.

Advocate Hari Shankar Jain and VHP leader Sohan Lal (Image source- Dainik Bhasker)

When asked about her friends who are also the petitioners in the case, Sahu said that they all believed in the powers of Maa Shringar Devi and worshipped the deity by offering Bindi and bangles on Chaitra Navratri. “We want to exercise our right to worship daily. So the case. We four live in Varanasi and range from age 35 to age 65. The fifth petitioner in the case, Rekha Pathak, stays in Delhi. We’ve met her twice or thrice and she was introduced to us by Dr Sohanlal”, Sahu said.

While Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak reside in Varanasi and have attended every session since the lawsuit began in August 2021, Rakhi Singh, the fifth and principal petitioner, is located in Delhi and has not been in court. According to the reports, Rakhi Singh (35) resides in the Hauz Khas area of Delhi and is the founding member of the Vishwa Vedic Sanathan Sangh. Sita Sahu (40) owns a modest general store from her home in Varanasi’s Chetganj area, roughly 2 kilometres from the complex. Manju Vyas (49) owns a beauty parlour 1.5 kilometres from the Gyanvapi complex. Rekha Pathak, a housewife, lives in the Hanuman Phatak area, which is close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple complex. Laxmi Devi (65) is the wife of VHP leader Sohan Lal Arya.

The apex court on Tuesday issued orders to protect the site where the Shivling was discovered from the disputed structure. The order also denied entry of Muslims in Wuzukhana, disallowing washing of their feet and spitting on the Shivling. Supreme Court also maintained that the order in any manner should not restrict or impede the right of the Muslims to use the Mosque for religious purposes.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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