One Hindu petitioner may withdraw from Gyanvapi case

Rakhi Singh, one of the five plaintiffs on the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case, may withdraw her case on Monday. The Hindu side said that the four other plaintiffs will continue to fight the case

One Hindu petitioner may withdraw from Gyanvapi case

NH Web Desk

Rakhi Singh, one of the five plaintiffs on the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case, may withdraw her case on Monday, some media reports said. However, the Hindu side said that the four other plaintiffs will continue to fight the case. The reason behind Rakhi Singh's decision to withdraw the case is not clear.

The videography and survey exercise is being done on the same court's earlier order on a plea by Delhi-based women Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others seeking permission for performing daily worship of deities Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi located whose idols are located on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

They had moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021 and had sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.

Lawyers and other officials on the Hindu side are slated to meet and chalk out their future strategy in the wake of Rakhi Singh’s surprise move.

Sources said that the Vedic Sanatan Sangh, which is leading all the cases, may withdraw from about half a dozen cases related to Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi Masjid, including the Shringar Gauri case.

The counsel for the mosque management committee (Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid), Abhay Nath Yadav told reporters that the court had not given any order to do the videography inside the mosque but to do it till the 'chabutra' (courtyard) outside the barricading.

Yadav said, "The videography and survey started at around 4.00 pm yesterday and the videography was done till the 'chabutra' on the western side of the mosque.

"After that, when the commissioner made an effort to go inside the mosque by getting its entrance door opened, I opposed it, pointing out that the court has not given any such order under which videography can be done inside the mosque," he said.

"The court-appointed commissioner claimed he has the orders to open the locks and get videography done. But, the truth is that there is no such order like this, hence I raised questions on the impartiality of the court commissioner," Yadav said.

Litigant friends of the Hindu side Vijay Shankar Rastogi said, "The court while hearing the plea seeking to change the court commissioner, has reserved its order."

"The court-appointed commissioner is discharging his responsibility with honesty. An application was moved on behalf of the Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Committee to create hurdles for him, accusing him of colluding with petitioners," he added.

Rastogi also said the survey will take place as the court has not put any kind of ban on it.

The court commissioner had on Friday conducted a videographic survey of some areas outside Gyanvapi Masjid in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex.

A court commissioner's team on Saturday visited the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri temple complex and stayed there for over two hours.

The Muslims protested against the survey even as the mosque management committee moved a Varanasi district court seeking the appointment of a different court commissioner, other than the present one, Ajay Kumar Mishra.

After hearing the plea to change the court commissioner, Varanasi's Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar reserved his order for May 9.

Court-appointed commissioner Mishra along with lawyers representing both the Hindu and Muslim sides went inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri temple complex. But, after spending nearly two hours inside the complex, they came out without accomplishing the task.

Vishnu Jain, a lawyer from the Hindu side said they would tell the court on May 9 about the matter and would ask for specific order to carry out the videography and survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Police earlier held a Muslim man raising religious slogans when the survey team was entering the mosque-temple complex and whisked him to a police station.


Old controversy revived

In 1991, a bunch of petitions in the case were filed in Varanasi district court by local priests who sought permission to worship in the Gyanvapi complex. The petitioners contended that the Gyanvapi Masjid was built on the orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in the 17th century.

In 2019, petitioners demanded that an archaeological survey of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex should be carried out.

On 9 September 2021, the Allahabad High Court stayed the archaeological survey of ASI in Gyanvapi Masjid.

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