Gyanvapi Case: Lawyer Claims Temple Symbols Being Removed, Petitioner Likely To Withdraw Case

Varanasi: Court had appointed team for videography and survey of some areas outside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex. On Saturday, the are hit a roadblock after the court-appointed team was denied entry into the mosque amid protests. With the exercise cut short, the matter has landed back in court. A Varanasi court will be hearing plea on Monday, May 9.

The Gyanvapi Masjid adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in Varanasi has long been at the centre of a multi-layered legal battle.

In 1991, a bunch of petitions in the case were filed in Varanasi district court by local priests. They sought permission to worship in the Gyanvapi complex. It was contended by the petitioners that in the 17th century the Gyanvapi Masjid was built on the orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir.

An archaeological survey of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex was demanded by the petitioners in 2019. On 9 September 2021, the Allahabad High Court stayed the archaeological survey of ASI in Gyanvapi Masjid.

The latest controversy surrounding the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex is regarding the right to worship the idols of Shringar Gauri and other deities. These idols are in the mosque premises. Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and 2 other women from Delhi, moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021. They had sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.

On 26th April, the court of Civil Judge of Varanasi ordered videography by the advocate commissioner of the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi mosque complex and other places. This should be conducted after Eid, and by May 10 reports should be submitted.

Rakhi Singh, one of the five plaintiffs on the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case, will reportedly withdraw her case tomorrow, according to India Today report. However, the Hindu side said that the four other plaintiffs will continue to fight the case.

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