Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Judge who permitted ‘pooja’ in Gyanvapi masjid basement appointed Lokpal of UP university

Photo: Omar Rashid/X

The Retired judge who handed over the basement of the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi to Hindus for prayer on his last day of work, A K Vishvesha, has been appointed the Lokpal of a university in Lucknow for three years. The appointment is receiving criticism.

Vishvesha was appointed as the Lokpal of the Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University, a government university of which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath is the chairperson.

On 31 January, Vishwesha directed the District Administration to make appropriate arrangements within 7 days for Hindus to conduct worshipping rituals inside one of the sealed cellars. He then retired on the same day.

A group of Hindus, led by Varanasi District Magistrate S Rajalingam, prayed inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex, hours after the district court passed the order.

The Varanasi district court allowed Hindus to offer prayers in the basement of the complex after an Archaeological Survey of India report, made public through the court, claimed that a Hindu temple existed at the site of the Gyanvapi mosque, and was destroyed in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

The Allahabad High Court, on February 02, refused to allow the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s plea seeking an interim stay on Pooja.

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