The judge at the Varanasi court who allowed filming inside the Gyanvapi mosque earlier this afternoon, said in his judgment that his family was intensely worried about his safety because “an ordinary civil matter has been converted into an extraordinary issue”.
Ravi Kumar Diwakar, a civil judge in the senior division of Varanasi’s lower courts, wrote in his judgment: “An atmosphere of fear has been created. Such fear that my family was worried about their and my safety. Whenever I was stepping out of my house, my wife used to worry about my security. There was some reports in the media that I would visit the survey site but my mother told me not to do it as she was worried about my safety”.
In its judgment, the court said videography can happen at all places inside the Gyanvapi mosque as asked for by the petitioners.
In April, the court had ordered an inspection following petitions by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.
The site is currently open for prayers once a year. The women asked for permission to pray there regularly and to other “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”.
The local court had earlier directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10. The survey that started last Friday could not be completed because of the dispute over videography inside the mosque.
In its order on Thursday, the court has said the survey has to be completed by May 17.
Abhay Nath Yadav, lawyer for the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, called the court order illegal and said lawyers will challenge it very soon.