Court order for archeological survey of Gyanvapi Mosque, a threat to public order and rule of law: Popular Front

A resolution passed by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Popular Front of India has termed the Varanasi district court order directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out a physical survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque a clear case of abetting the Sangh Parivar assault on the constitutional rights of religious minorities.

According to the PFI, the court direction also disregards the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid title suit, where the 5 judge bench had stated it clear that the archaeological findings by the ASI cannot be the basis of law in a title dispute.

“The court order is also in contravention of The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which seeks to maintain and protect the status quo of places of worship in India as of 15 August 1992. This law was also reconfirmed by the Ayodhya case verdict of the Supreme Court in 2019.  It is also a relevant fact that the appeals against the petition filed by temple claimants in Varanasi district court are still pending before Allahabad High Court. In light of these facts, Popular Front has urged the High Court and Supreme Court to quash the present order which violates the law and transgresses jurisdiction,” read the statement released by Popular Front.

PFI also noted that this ruling should be read along with the recent trends of judiciary entertaining suits that carry the violent divisive agenda of the Sangh Parivar against Muslim religious places and practices.

PFI statement read: “The recent developments in the court with regards to Gyan Vapi mosque are seen to be chronologically emulating the Sangh Parivar moves with regards to the Babri Masjid, as there too the Hindutva camp was successful in first obtaining a court order requesting an ASI survey of the contested site.”

The statement went on to say: “In this context, the court specifying the inclusion of two minority community members in the ASI team should be seen as an attempt to garnish some credibility to the heinous moves that only promote the divisive agenda of RSS.  It remains a sad reality that the Supreme Court order permitting the construction of a Ram Mandir in the demolished Babri land has in many ways incentivised the Hindutva forces to carry forward their campaigns aggressively for capturing other Muslim worship places like Kashi and Mathura Masjids.  The bias of judiciary to Sangh Parivar listing of mosques to be demolished with their wild claims of having ancient temple structures beneath these mosques is posing dangerous threats to secular India.”

Popular Front said it believes rebuilding Babri Masjid is the first step towards reinstating secularism in this country and having been at the forefront of this longstanding struggle to restore justice, we pledge our commitment towards not letting any more ‘Babri demolitions’ happen.

Popular Front also sought urgent intervention by the apex courts “to put a halt to these Hindutva moves and onslaughts against the religious places and religious freedom of the minority communities in India.”

According to the PFI, this court order will be a real credibility test for the different sections among the majority community and the political parties, based on how they choose to react to the socio-political crisis brought in by this Varanasi district court intervention.

The organisation also urged the Muslim community and its leaders to question and stand firm against these evil designs of the Sangh Parivar.