Varanasi Gyanvapi case hearing: The Hindu side said earlier in the day that they will seek Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey and carbon-dating of Shivling if ruling comes in their favour.
The Varanasi court held on Monday that the plea filed by five Hindu women seeking to offer prayers to Hindu deities on Gyanvapi Mosque complex is maintainable. The court said this while rejecting the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee's plea, saying that the Hindu side's plea is fit for hearing.
It also decided to proceed with the case. The next hearing of the case will be held on September 22.
The Varanasi district Court was delivering the order on the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee's plea challenging the maintainability of civil suits in the Gyanvapi Masjid case. District Judge AK Vishvesh had last month reserved the order till September 12 in the communally sensitive matter.
What is the case about?
The case pertains to a plea by five women seeking permission for worship of Hindu deities whose idols were allegedly found to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.
The original suit was filed in 1991 in the Varanasi district court seeking the restoration of the ancient temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque is currently located.
Earlier, a lower court had ordered a videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri complex complex. The survey work was completed on May 16 and the report was presented in the court on May 19.
Following the survey, the Hindu side claimed that the Shivling was found close to the "wazu khana"— a small reservoir used by Muslim devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering the namaz.
This claim was contested by the Muslim side. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and questioned the maintainability of the plea.
Now, following the verdict in favour of the Hindu side, a petitioner, Manju Vyas, was quoted by ANI as saying, "Bharat is happy today. My Hindu brothers and sisters should light diyas to celebrate."
Another petitioner Sohan Lal Arya said, "It's a win for the Hindu community. The next hearing is on September 22. It's a foundation stone for the Gyanvapi temple. I appeal to people to maintain peace."
Here are latest updates in the case:
> The Hindu side said that they will seek Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey and carbon-dating of Shivling if ruling comes in their favour. Speaking to ANI, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, said, "Today, the court will deliver its judgment on the maintainability of the suit. 1991 Worship Act applies in our favour. If judgment comes in our favour, then we will seek for ASI survey, carbon dating of Shivling."
> Security has been tightened in Varanasi on Monday, ahead of the district court's verdict on the maintainability of the plea filed in connection with the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri case.
> Section 144, prohibiting the gathering of more than four people, has also been imposed across the district, New 18 reported.
> According to PTI, directives for flag march and foot march in sensitive areas have also been issued. While checking has been intensified in border areas, hotels and guest houses, authorities are keeping an eye on social media as well.
> Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh said on Sunday that prohibitory orders have been issued in the Varanasi commissioner and officers have been asked to interact with religious leaders in their respective areas to ensure that peace is maintained. To maintain law and order, he said, the entire city has been divided into sectors which have been allocated police forces as per their requirement.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Akriti Anand)
First Published: IST