Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], July 4 (ANI): The Varanasi district court on Monday heard arguments on the maintainability of a plea by five Hindu women seeking permission to worship the Shringar Gauri Sthal within the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Masjid complex.
Earlier, claims were made by the Hindu side that a structure, resembling a Shivling was found in the mosque complex. The Masjid committee contested that it was a fountain and not a Shivling.
"Muslim side has given its arguments, the date for the next hearing is July 12 keeping in mind everyone's convenience. Muslim side to keep its arguments on law-point in front of the court then," said Advocate Vishnu Jain, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi Masjid survey matter told to reporters.
The hearing in the Gyanvapi case has been adjourned till July 12. The lawyer representing the Muslim side presented 51 arguments during the hearing today.
The Supreme Court had on May 20 transferred the case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge, saying considering 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 bench also said that no manner of restriction should be imposed on Muslims entering the mosque to offer namaz or religious observances.
The matter had reached the Supreme Court on a petition filed by the Mosque Management Committee, which challenged the civil judge's orders. The order permitted inspection, survey, and videography of the mosque's complex to collect evidence about the alleged existence of idols of Hindu deities inside the mosque, which is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. After the survey, the lawyers representing the Hindu side claimed that a shivling was found at the mosque premises.
They filed an application for the protection of the shivling, where upon the civil judge directed the district magistrate, Varanasi, to seal the area where the shivling was sighted. It also directed the deployment of the CRPF to protect the sealed area and prohibited people from entering it. (ANI)