Pleas Filed in HC and District Court for Protection of Hindu Symbols in Gyanvapi Mosque Complex

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Published on: 3 August 2023 at 13:09 IST

Two separate pleas have been lodged in the Varanasi district court and the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection for “Hindu signs and symbols” present in the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi.

The timing of these pleas coincides with the impending order of the Allahabad High Court, scheduled to be pronounced on Thursday, regarding a plea against the Varanasi district court’s directive to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey to ascertain if the Gyanvapi mosque was constructed on a temple site.

Rakhi Singh, a petitioner in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri case, filed the plea in the Varanasi district court on Wednesday, accusing the Muslim side of demolishing Hindu symbols and demanding protection for the entire complex.

The district court, under the jurisdiction of District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesh, has scheduled the hearing on August 4, as stated by senior government counsel Rajesh Mishra.

In a public interest litigation submitted before the Allahabad High Court, the petitioners have requested the state government and district administration to seal the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises while allowing the ASI survey to proceed, in order to prevent any damage to Hindu signs and symbols that might be discovered during the survey.

Additionally, they urged to restrain non-Hindus from entering the “old temple area” within the complex until the pending suits in the Varanasi district court on the Gyanvapi matter are resolved.

The petition was filed by Jitender Singh “Visen”, Rakhi Singh, and a few others, with Jitendra Singh Bisen, the chief of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, stating that Rakhi Singh’s plea accuses the Muslim side of destroying Hindu symbols at the Gyanvapi premises, and demands protection for the entire complex to preserve these symbols.

Bisen emphasized the immediate need to prohibit the entry of Muslims into Gyanvapi to ensure an unhindered archaeological survey.

Rakhi Singh, besides being one of the founders of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, is also one of the five Hindu women plaintiffs who initiated the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi case, seeking permission for worship at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal.

On July 27, the Allahabad High Court had reserved its verdict until August 3 on a plea against the ASI survey, and Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker had ordered the continuation of the stay on the ASI survey until August 3.

The plea was filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the mosque, after the Supreme Court had halted the ASI survey until July 26, allowing time for the mosque management committee to challenge the lower court’s order.

Previously, a Varanasi court had directed the ASI to conduct a survey, including excavations if necessary, to ascertain whether the mosque was constructed on the site of a previous temple.

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