Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Allahabad HC rejects plea against puja in Gyanvapi mosque

The Allahabad High Court Monday dismissed a plea challenging a district court’s order allowing puja in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal delivered the verdict, Bar and Bench reported.

Last month, the Varanasi district court directed that a priest be allowed to perform puja in the southern cellar after the Archeological Survery of India stated in its report that “there existed a Hindu temple prior to the construction” of the Gyanvapi mosque. Later in the night, the puja began in the cellar and continued in intervals on 1 February.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee had moved an urgent application before the Supreme Court seeking its intervention against the district court’s order, but was told to first approach the Allahabad High Court. The mosque committee has maintained that no idols existed in the mosque, and no prayers were ever offered there.

The Hindu nationalists have been campaigning that the historic mosque was built on the site of the original Kashi Vishwanath temple, while Muslims maintain that the mosque was built on Waqf premises and that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 barred changing the character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

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