Allahabad High Court Verdict Today on Allowing Hindus To Pray in Gyanvapi

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Published on: February 26, 2024 at 08:45 IST

The Allahabad High Court is set to deliver its verdict today on a petition challenging the Varanasi district court’s decision to permit Hindu prayers in a cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque. The controversy arose when the Varanasi district court ruled on January 31 that a priest could offer prayers in the southern cellar of the mosque.

The ruling came in response to a petition filed by Shailendra Kumar Pathak, who claimed his maternal grandfather, Somnath Vyas, had been offering prayers in the cellar until December 1993. The Gyanvapi mosque has four cellars in its basement, one of which remains with the Vyas family.

The district court’s decision coincided with the release of an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report on the mosque complex, ordered by the same court in connection with a related case. The ASI report suggested that the mosque was built during Aurangzeb’s reign atop the remains of a Hindu temple.

However, the mosque committee contested the petitioner’s claims, stating that no idols existed in the cellar, and thus, no prayers were offered there until 1993. Following the district court’s ruling, the mosque committee swiftly approached the Allahabad High Court on February 2, after the Supreme Court declined to entertain its plea and directed it to seek relief from the high court.

The Allahabad High Court, after hearing arguments from both sides on February 15, reserved its verdict on the matter. Now, the court’s decision is eagerly awaited as it will have far-reaching implications on the dispute surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque and the rights of worshipers from both communities.

As the verdict draws near, tensions remain high in Varanasi, with stakeholders closely monitoring the legal proceedings and hoping for a resolution that upholds the principles of justice and religious harmony.

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