Gyanvapi Masjid Case: A fresh petition seeking a ban on the entry of Muslims at the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi was on Wednesday transferred from the court of civil judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar to a fast track court. The petition, filed by the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, will be heard by the fast track court on May 30.
The Gyanvapi Masjid is adjacent to the famed Kashi Vishwanath temple on the western bank of the river Ganga.
"We have demanded three things including entry of Muslims should be stopped in the Gyanvapi complex and it should be handed over to the Hindu," petitioner Kiran Singh told ANI.
Petitions were filed in a local court in Varanasi in August 2021 seeking permission for daily darshan and poojan at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, had on April 26 this year ordered a videography survey of the site in May.
According to the court's directions, videography and survey were to be conducted inside the mosque premises on May 6 and 7. But the exercise was stalled due to massive protests by the Muslims who opposed the court's order. The court again ordered a video survey and set May 17 as the deadline. The survey was done by a court-appointed team.
According to sources, rubble of an old temple, trishul, damru, hood of Sheshnag (a serpent from Hindu mythology), and several pieces of broken Hindu deities, were among the things that were found during the three-day survey. Hindus claimed that a Shivling was also found inside the wazukhana of the mosque.
By that time, the Muslim side approached the Supreme Court. The top court after listening to the arguments of both sides on May 20 had transferred the civil suit filed by Hindu devotees on Gyanvapi mosque from civil judge (senior division) to district judge, Varanasi, saying looking at the complexities and sensitivity of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer having an experience of over 25-30 years handles this case.
The apex court directed the district judge to decide on the priority of the application under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC (on maintainability) filed by the mosque committee, which said that the civil suit is barred by a 1991 law of Parliament, be decided upon the transfer of papers of suit from the civil judge (senior division).