Hindu Petitioners’ Win A Big Step In Varanasi Court


In May, the Supreme Court had assigned the case to the Varanasi district judge’s court

A court today agreed to hear a group of Hindu women who want year-long access to pray inside the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, next to the famous Kashi Viswanath temple. The women’s petition will be heard on September 22.

Here are 10 facts from this big story

  1. The five women want permission for year-long puja and rituals in a part of the mosque complex and claim there are idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in other parts of the mosque complex. Muslim petitioners had urged the court to throw out the petition.

  2. Earlier this year, a lower court ordered the filming of the centuries-old mosque based on the petition of the women.

  3. The report of the filming was submitted to the Varanasi court in a sealed cover, but the Hindu petitioners controversially leaked details just hours later.

  4. The report claimed a “Shivling” or relic of Lord Shiva had been found in a pond within the mosque complex used for “Wazoo” or purification rituals before Muslim prayers.

  5. A court then banned large namaz gatherings in the high-profile mosque. The gatherings should be limited to 20 people, said the court.

  6. The filming inside the mosque was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Gyanvapi mosque committee, which said the move violates a 1991 law (Places of Worship Act) that maintains the religious status of places of worship as of August 15, 1947.

  7. The Muslim petitioners argued that “such petitions and sealing of mosques will lead to public mischief and communal disharmony, will affect mosques across the country.”

  8. In May, the Supreme Court assigned the case to the city’s most senior judge, referring to the “complexity and sensitivity” of the dispute.

  9. The Gyanvapi mosque located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency (Varanasi), is one of the several mosques that Hindu hardliners believe were built on the ruins of temples.

  10. The Hindu petitioners have said they will seek carbon dating and a proper archeological survey to establish that a temple stood on the land.

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