Tension has gripped Varanasi after scores of Muslims on Friday protested against the videography survey and inspection of the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal at the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi.
Sources said that a court-appointed team that reached the location in the afternoon for the survey had to face protests by the Muslims. However, the survey team started its work amid heavy police deployment at the complex. The survey will conclude tomorrow.
The local administration has also deployed a heavy police contingent in the vicinity to maintain the law and order situation. Notably, the Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid, the management of the mosque, had declared that it will oppose the local court’s order and not allow ‘non-believers’ to enter the mosque.
“We will not allow anyone to enter the mosque for videography and survey. The managing committee of the Gyanvapi mosque will oppose this decision of the court. This decision will be opposed constitutionally,” SM Yasin, joint secretary of Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid Managing Committee, had said.
The Gyanvapi mosque shares a boundary wall with the famed Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Petitions were filed in local court in Varanasi in August 2021 seeking permission for daily darshan and poojan at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal. The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, had on April 26 this year ordered videography by the advocate commissioner of the temple in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi mosque complex and other places after Eid.
The court had appointed advocate Ajai Kumar to conduct a survey and inspection. The court had asked the advocate commissioner to submit a report before the next hearing on May 10.
According to the court’s directions, videography and survey will be conducted inside the mosque premises on May 6 and 7. The court had said that besides the advocate commissioner and parties, one associate can remain present during the proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has criticised the Gyanvapi mosque managing committee’s decision to not allow any videography and survey on its premises. It asked, “what does the committee is hiding”.
“It is contempt of court. How can they refuse to follow the court’s order and (refuse to) allow the court-appointed commissioner to conduct videography and survey inside the Gyanvapi mosque’s premises. What is it that you (mosque management committee) want to hide? This (the Gyanvapi mosque) is not a restricted area for the court,” VHP’s national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said.
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