A Varanasi court dismissed a plea of the Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee on Monday that challenged the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women seeking the right to worship in the Gyanvapi mosque compound.
District Judge AK Vishvesh delivered the verdict in the Gyanvapi Shringar Gauri dispute case, posting the matter for hearing on September 22.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the Hindu side in the case said, “The court rejected the Muslim side's petition and said the suit is maintainable. The next hearing of the case is on September 22.”
A petitioner in the Gyanvapi case, Sohan Lal Arya said, “It's a win for the Hindu community. The next hearing is on Sep 22. It's a foundation stone for the Gyanvapi temple. Appeal to people to maintain peace.”
The Hindu side had earlier said that they will seek for a survey by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the carbon dating of ‘Shivling’ if the judgment came in their favour.
Advocate Jain was quoted by ANI as saying, “Today the court will deliver its judgment on the maintainability of the suit. 1991 Worship Act applies in our favour. If judgment comes in our favour, then we will seek for ASI survey, carbon dating of Shivling.”
Arya said, “Moreover, this day is going to be a very happy day for the Hindu community of the world. Court will give its verdict from 2:00 pm and we have offered prayers for the 'darshan' of Lord Shiva in the morning. After the verdict, we will have 'darshan'. After the verdict comes in our favour, the people of Kashi celebrate by ringing bells and clapping. The people of Kashi will work to awaken the Hindu society.”
The petition had been filed by five women seeking permission to worship Hindu deities daily, whose idols are said to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque, located near to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Following orders to conduct video survey of the complex, it was completed on May 16 and the report was presented in the court on May 19. After the survey, Hindu side claimed that a structure resembling a Shivling was found inside the complex, which the Masjid committee refuted saying that it was a fountain.
Advocate Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed commissioner by Varanasi court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex but was later removed for leaking the information said, “Several sculptures of gods and goddesses alongwith other structures related to Hindu belief were seen in the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi.”
The report by Mishra also mentioned that the three-four sculptures with Sindoor marks and ‘Choukhat’ like stone slab are believed to be ‘Sringar Gouri’.
However, questioning the maintainability of the plea, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property.