Devotees demand removal of Gyanvapi Mosque near Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Harish V. Nair

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Harish V. NairThe suit says Parliament cannot legalise the illegal action of an invader which infringes the religious rights of Hindus guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. The plea said Parliament also cannot restrain Hindu devotees from getting back their religious places of worship through the judicial process. – Harish V. Nair

A court in Varanasi has issued notices on a civil suit filed by devotees of Lord Shiva seeking removal of the Gyanvapi Mosque built by Aurangzeb in 1669 adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple by allegedly demolishing an ancient temple.

The notice has been sent to the Centre, UP government, Varanasi District Magistrate, Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi, UP Muslim Personal Law Board, mosque management Anjuman Intazamia, board of trustees of Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The replies have been sought by April 9, the next date of hearing.

The suit also sought a “decree in the nature of declaration declaring that the worshippers of Maa Goddess Shringar Gauri, Goddess Maa Ganga, Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganeshji, Nandiji along with Lord Adi Visheshwar are entitled to have Darshan, Pooja and Worship of deities within the area of Settlement Plot No. 9130 (Nine Thousand One Hundred Thirty) situated at Dashashwamedh in the heart of City of Varanasi.”

This is the second petition in recent times which has raised the demand. Earlier the court had sought response of the mosque management on a civil suit filed by devotees and worshippers as the “next friend” of the deities.

“The building in question contains the image of Swayambhu deity Goddess Shringar Gauri and images of a number of God and Goddess, a number of an object of worship and Hindu religious facets within the structure from the time immemorial. The religious character of the building complex as a Hindu place of worship is continuing till date despite the construction illegally raised by Muslims,” says the suit filed by Shiva devotees Satyam Tripathi, Ashish Kumar Shukla, Pawan Kumar Pathak through advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain.

The suit also urged the court to pass a decree in the nature of the declaration declaring that the entire Avimukteshwar area belongs to plaintiff deity Asthan Lord Adi Visheshwar.

The civil suit says: “the plaintiffs are followers of Sanatan Vedic Dharma. They are idol worshippers. They are worshippers of Lord of Universe Lord Shiva.”

It says, “as described in various scriptures and Skand Puran, the Jyotirlinga was established by Lord Shiva himself at Kashi creating Avimukteshwara Kshetra.

“That as described in various scriptures and Skanda Puran, the Jyotirlinga was established by Lord Shiva himself at Kashi creating Avimukteshwara Kshetra in the radius of 5 (Five) Kos (Krosh).”

The suit says Parliament cannot legalise the illegal action of invader which infringes the religious rights of Hindus guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. The plea said Parliament also cannot restrain Hindu devotees from getting back their religious places of worship through the judicial process.

Parliament cannot make any law which takes away or abridges the vested religious right of devotees and cannot make any law with retrospective effect, it said adding Parliament having no power or jurisdiction has barred right and remedy of Hindus against encroachment made on their religious places exercising might of power by followers of another faith. – TimesNowNews, 11 March 2021

Harish V. Nair is a senior editor (legal) at Times Now TV. He has specialised in coverage of Supreme Court and issues pertaining to judiciary.

Gyanvapi Mosque Varanasi

Aurangzeb's firman ordering the demolition of the Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi in August 1669 A.D.