Suit filed in Mathura court for reclamation of Shri Krishna Janmasthan – Murali Krishnan

Mathura Shahi Idgah & Krishna Janmasthan Temple

Murali KrishnanThe birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the mosque structure raised by the Shahi Idgah trust, the suit claimed. – Murali Krishnan

A civil suit was filed before the court of civil judge, senior division, Mathura, on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman, seeking the removal of the Shahi Idgah, adjacent to the Shri Krishna temple complex at Mathura.

One Ranjana Agnihotri, a resident of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, has filed the suit.

The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and the Committee of Management of Trust of Shahi Idgah have been arraigned as defendants in the suit.

The suit seeks recovery of 13.37 acres of land situated within the area of the temple.

The suit claims that the trust, with the help of some Muslims, encroached upon the land belonging to Shri Krishna Janmasthan Trust and the deity, and erected a structure.

The birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the structure raised by the trust, the suit said.

It was also claimed that Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan, which is the governing body of the temple complex, entered into an illegal compromise with the Shahi Idgah trust with a view to grab the property in question.

“The Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan is working against the interest of the deity and devotees and fraudulently entered into a compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah (Trust) in 1968 conceding a considerable portion of property belonging to the deity and the trust,” the suit said.

The civil judge, Mathura, passed a judgement on the suit regarding the alleged “compromise between the Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan and the Trust” on July 20, 1973.

The present suit has now prayed for “cancelling this judgement”.

What may, however, act as a legal bar to this new suit would be the law passed in 1991: Places of Worship (Special Provisions Act). This law was passed at the height of Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and seeks to protect all religious structures as they existed at the time of Independence with the exception of the disputed site at Ayodhya.

Thus, conversion of mosques into temples or vice versa is barred as per the Act. Since the Ayodhya land was exempted, the Supreme Court had invoked this law while awarding the disputed site at Ayodhya to child deity Ram Lalla while reaffirming that similar cases cannot be entertained with respect to other sites. – Hindustan Times, 26 September 2020

Murali Krishnan is a legal journalist for the Hindustan Times in New Delhi.

Aurangzeb's firman against the Keshava Rai Temple in Mathura

“Even to look at a temple is a sin for a Musalman”, stated Aurangzeb. Umurat-i-Hazur Kishwar-Kashai Julus (R.Yr.) 9, Rabi II 24 / 13 October 1666. – From Aurangzeb’s Court Bulletin

It was reported to the Emperor (Aurangzeb) that in the Temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura, there is a stone railing presented by Bishukoh (one without dignity i.e. Prince Dara, Aurangzeb’s elder brother). On hearing of it, the Emperor observed, “In the religion of the Musalmans it is improper even to look at a temple and this Bishukoh has installed this kathra (barrier railing). Such an act is totally unbecoming of a Musalman. This railing should be removed (forthwith)”. His Majesty ordered Abdun Nabi Khan to go and remove the kathra, which is in the middle of the temple. The Khan went and removed it. After doing it he had audience. He informed that the idol of Keshava Rai is in the inner chamber. The railing presented by Dara was in front of the chamber and that, formerly, it was of wood. Inside the kathra used to stand the sevakas of the shrine (pujaris) and outside it stood the people (khalq). – Aurangzeb as he was according to Mughal Records

Demolition of Keshava Rai Temple, Mathura, by order of Aurangzeb