New Delhi: The lawyers representing the Hindu devotees yesterday urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition filed by the Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque committee, challenging the filming inside the mosque.
The Supreme Court had earlier issued a notice to the Hindu side and the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea filed by the mosque committee, which also accused the Varanasi court-appointed commissioner of partiality.
In the written response, the lawyers for the Hindu devotees claimed that the property belongs to Lord Adi Vishweshwar since much before the Islamic rule in India, and it was forcibly captured by Aurangzeb.
The Supreme Court said it would take up the case on Friday, and also asked the civil court in Varanasi to put on hold its own proceedings till it takes up the matter. The Varanasi court will now hear the matter on May 23.
The report of the filming carried out inside Gyanvapi mosque on May 14, 15 and 16 was also submitted to the Varanasi court yesterday.
Here is what the written reply filed by the Hindu side says
- Aurangzeb passed the order for demolishing the temple in the capacity of a sovereign and the land does not belong to any Muslim, Muslim body or Waqf board.
- A mosque can be constructed only on a Waqf property. In this case, Aurangzeb did not create any Waqf. Therefore, the alleged Gyanvapi mosque is only a structure and it cannot be regarded as a mosque.
- Hindu devotees have already been worshipping the deities of Lord Adivisheshwar, Goddess Shringar Gauri and others, existing within the property in question.
- The devotees in thousands circumambulate through the Parikrama Marg, and on festive days they assemble in lakhs to perform religious rituals.
- Circumambulation around the deity is an integral part of worship recognised by Hindu law.
On May 17, the top court had directed the district magistrate of Varanasi to ensure the protection of an area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where a ‘Shivling’ is said to have been found during the filming and allowed Muslims to offer ‘namaz’ and perform “religious observances”.
The video graphics survey of the mosque was ordered on April 18, 2021, by the civil judge (senior division) Varanasi. The Varanasi court is hearing a petition filed by five Hindu women who claim there are idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
The original suit was filed in 1991 in the Varanasi district court for the restoration of the ancient temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque currently stands.