Gyanvapi: Hindu Prayers Allowed in "Vyas Tehkhana", Muslim Side May Appeal to Supreme Court

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Gyanvapi: Hindu Prayers Allowed in “Vyas Tehkhana”, Muslim Side May Appeal to Supreme Court

| Updated: February 26, 2024 19:17

Gyanvapi: Hindu Prayers Allowed in "Vyas Tehkhana", Muslim Side May Appeal to Supreme Court

Allahabad: In a significant development in the ongoing Gyanvapi Mosque dispute, the Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed the appeal filed by the Muslim side challenging the Varanasi district court’s order allowing Hindu prayers inside the ‘Vyas Tehkhana’ (cellar) of the complex.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid (AIM), which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque, had contested the January 2024 district court orders appointing the Varanasi District Magistrate as the receiver of the ‘Vyas Tehkhana’ and permitting Hindu prayers there.

Upholding these orders, Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal of the High Court stated that the court found no reason to intervene after examining the case records and hearing arguments from both parties.

Muslim side may seek Supreme Court review:

While the AIM expressed its intention to study the order and approach the Supreme Court, the Hindu side’s lawyer welcomed the decision. They confirmed the continuation of ongoing prayers and stated their plan to file a caveat in the Supreme Court if the AIM appeals.

Background of the dispute:

The controversy stemmed from a petition filed by Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas, representing the Ved Vyas Peeth temple, in September 2023. He sought permission to resume worship of deities, including Shringar Gauri, in the cellar. His family claims to have performed these rituals until December 1993, when they were stopped by the state government without a court order.

The district court’s January order appointing the district magistrate as the receiver and allowing puja in the cellar followed this petition.

Link to ‘Shringar Gauri’ case:

This ‘Vyas Tehkhana’ case is linked to a separate case filed by five women in August 2021, seeking permission to worship Shringar Gauri and other deities within the Gyanvapi complex. This case, known as “Suit no. 18/2022 Rakhi Singh and others vs UP state and others,” led to a court-monitored survey and ongoing legal battles.

Hindu side claims based on ASI report:

Both sides received the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report in January 2025. The Hindu side interprets the report as evidence that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built on the ruins of a destroyed temple.

Reactions to the court’s decision:

The Hindu plaintiffs in the “Shringar Gauri” case expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision and hope for a similar outcome in their own case.
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