Another Ayodhya? Tensions rising in Varanasi as Gyanvapi Masjid case heats up

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Police personnel deployed outside Gyanvapi Masjid over a survey of the mosque in connection with the Shringar Gauri worship case, in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

BJP MP Harnath Singh Yadav hits out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi and demand his arrest under a sedition case

Our Bureau
Varanasi/Lucknow

In a major development in the Gyanvapi Masjid versus Shringar Gauri case, the court on Thursday appointed Vishal Singh and Ajay Singh as assistant commissioners along with retaining the earlier appointed commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the Hindu petitioners in court, said, “Two more lawyers have been appointed as commissioners to accompany the Court commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra for the survey. The Commission is to submit a report by May 17 before the court.”

Two more lawyers were appointed after Mishra was accused of being biased by the Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee. Varanasi court refused to remove Court commissioner Ajay Mishra and added that the video inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque will continue and should be completed by Tuesday (May 17).

There has been a protest over the survey of several deities, including Shringar Gauri, located in Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple premises and the Gyanvapi Masjid complex. Following the court-appointed commissioner’s survey in Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee on Saturday filed an application seeking the removal of the office due to the alleged biasedness over the matter.

“We filed an application against the (Court) Commissioner as he is biased and should be removed. The court will hear the application and its orders will be followed,” Advocate Rayeed Ahmed, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee told media persons.

Earlier, following the court-appointed commissioner’s survey in Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee on Saturday filed an application seeking the removal of the office due to the alleged bias over the matter.

“We filed an application against the (Court) Commissioner as he is biased and should be removed. The court will hear the application and its orders will be followed,” Advocate Rayeed Ahmed, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee told media persons. There has been a protest over the survey of several deities, including Shringar Gauri, located in Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple premises and the Gyanvapi Masjid complex.

Court-appointed official and a team of lawyers conducted an inspection at Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi on Friday in connection with a plea seeking access to a Hindu temple behind it. The survey and videography at the mosque also continued today.

Meanwhile, hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that the BJP is looking for another Ayodhya issue to play politics in the Gyanvapi Masjid case. Speaking to reporters, the Congress leader said, “The matter is in court but I will say that BJP’s condition is like a wingless bird after Ayodhya’s verdict as they can’t fight politics on jobs, inflation and ‘Achhe din’. They are looking for another Ayodhya issue so that they can politicize.” It is a BJP’s failed attempt to polarize the Gyanvapi case, Tiwari said.

“People visit Kashi Vishwanath temple and as well go to Gyanvapi mosque. BJP is trying a failed attempt to polarize this issue for political gains,” he said. There has been a protest over the survey of several deities, including Shringar Gauri, located in Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple premises and the Gyanvapi Masjid complex.

Court-appointed official and a team of lawyers conducted an inspection at Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi on Friday in connection with a plea seeking access to a Hindu temple behind it.

In the Ayodhya case, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had in November 2019 unanimously ruled in favor of Ram Lalla and said the entire disputed land spread over 2.7 acres will be handed over to a trust formed by the government, which will monitor the construction of a Ram temple at the site.

The top court also added that an alternative five acres of land at a prominent location in Ayodhya should be allotted for the construction of a mosque following consultation between the Centre and the state government.

In a related development, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Harnath Singh Yadav on Sunday hit out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi and demanded his arrest under a sedition case.

The remarks came after Owaisi on Saturday said the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are trying to rekindle the era of hatred as the one in the 1990s. He was referring to the row over the survey of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi. Speaking to reporters, Yadav said, “Owaisi’s intention needs to be understood. Owaisi wants to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims in the country and he is dreaming of becoming Jinnah. So, a case of sedition should be registered against him and should be put in jail immediately.”

“As far as the survey of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi is concerned, any person, any institution is free to approach the court and when the lower court’s decision was challenged by the Muslim side in the higher court, the court rejected. The court’s decision must be respected,” he added.

Notably, the local court had ordered to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid which was later challenged in the Allahabad High court. Further questioning Owaisi’s “fear” in conducting a survey of the mosque, the MP enquired about the truth that would be “exposed through the survey”.

“What is the fear in the survey of Gyanvapi mosque? Which is the truth that he does not want to be exposed through the survey?” the MP asked.

He cited the example of the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict delivered by the Supreme Court in 2019 which was widely accepted by people and representatives of all communities, and said that the Muslims should accept the order of the local court in a similar manner.

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