Gyanvapi Masjid: Supreme Court allows cleaning of wazukhana

Bench asks to clean and remove dead fish from water tank at Hindu plaintiff's instance, though the Masjid Committee had pleaded its poor condition first

Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque (photo: IANS)
Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque (photo: IANS)


The Supreme Court passed an order allowing the cleaning of the wazukhana in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex, which had remained sealed since May 2022 after a ‘shivling’ was allegedly found there.

A bench, presided over by the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, asked the district administration to supervise the cleaning of the water tank and the removal of any dead fish.

In their application filed before the apex court, the Hindu plaintiffs said that there was a putrid smell coming from the tank due to the presence of dead fish and the district magistrate should be directed to get the sealed area cleaned.

'Since there exists a shivlingam which is sacred to Hindus,' the application claimed, 'it should be kept away from all dirt, grime, dead animals, etc. and it must be in a clean condition. It is currently in the midst of dead fish which is hurtful to the sentiments of the devotees of Lord Shiva.'

Hindu plaintiffs had instituted a suit in the Varanasi court demanding the right of unhindered worship at what they claimed as the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal.

However, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee refutes that the mosque was built over a temple, maintaining that the structure at the spot has always been a mosque.

Recently, the Archaeological Survey of India, after surveying the mosque complex (excluding the wazukhana, per court orders) has filed the scientific survey report in a sealed cover before the district court.

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