UP Court Orders Archaeological Survey At Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque Premises

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Published on 8 Apr 2021, 14:36
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In a key development on Thursday, a Varanasi court ordered an archaeological survey at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque premises in Varanasi. The court's order came on a plea filed by Vijay Shankar Rastogi who contended that the entire premises belonged to the temple alone. Asserting that the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built over 2000 years ago, he claimed that the Gyanvapi Mosque was constructed after the temple was demolished by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1669. The temple was re-constructed by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar in 1780.

He also maintained that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 was not applicable to this suit. Barring for the litigation on the Ayodhya land dispute, this law prohibited courts from entertaining any petition that would alter the status quo of a religious place as existed on August 15, 1947. Moreover, Rastogi cited the outcome of the Ayodhya land dispute to highlight that the issue can be resolved with the excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Agreeing with this prayer, Civil Judge Ashutosh Tewari directed a 5-member ASI team to study the entire premises, the cost of which will be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. On the other hand, the Sunni Central Waqf Board had pleaded that the situation as it was on August 15, 1947, should continue. It has now decided to challenge this order before the Allahabad High Court. Soon after the verdict, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy exuded confidence in taking the matter to its logical conclusion.Agreeing with this prayer, Civil Judge Ashutosh Tewari directed a 5-member ASI team to study the entire premises, the cost of which will be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. On the other hand, the Sunni Central Waqf Board had pleaded that the situation as it was on August 15, 1947, should continue. It has now decided to challenge this order before the Allahabad High Court. Soon after the verdict, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy exuded confidence in taking the matter to its logical conclusion.



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