2 petitions filed for becoming parties to Krishna Janmabhoomi plea
An all-India body of priests and a social organisation have filed pleas to become parties to the case.
Less than a week ahead of hearing in a Mathura district court on a petition to seek removal of a 17th century mosque adjoining the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an all-India body of priests and a social organisation have filed pleas to become parties to the case.
In their applications filed in the court of District and Sessions Judge on Wednesday, the Akhil Bharatiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha and Mathur Chaturvedi Parishad condemned the petition that sought the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque built within the Katra Keshav Dev temple, arguing that the issue can create "communal disturbance in the town".
Mahasabha President Mahesh Pathak told reporters: "We do not want anyone to disrupt peace in the city. The issue is being raised unnecessarily after the Ram Janmabhoomi issue. Members of all religious communities have been happily living together in the town."
He said that the people want development and employment generation more than another temple-mosque dispute.
The fresh pleas argued that the sensitivity of the matter needs to be understood since it could spoil the "communal harmony of Mathura town".
"We want the status quo to remain. Additional land can be acquired for the expansion of the temple premises," Pathak said.
The priests' body also stated that the claim of ownership of the land in the previous petition was not in accordance with the Places of Worship Act, 1991, which provides for maintaining the "religious character" of holy structures as they existed on August 15, 1947.
"Eidgah mosque is 300 years old. Hence this claim should be dismissed," it said.
The earlier petition was filed in September on behalf of child deity, Shri Krishna Virajman, through "next friend" Ranjana Agnihotri, a Lucknow-based lawyer, and five others.
It claimed that the mosque located within the 13.37-acre premises of the temple was built at the birthplace of Lord Krishna and sought its removal.
The plea was dismissed in a lower court after which the petitioners moved the district court against the order last month.
The plea was admitted in the court of District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur, who posted the matter for hearing on November 18. The two new pleas are also scheduled for hearing on the same day.