Gyanvapi Case: Court Allows Hindu Side To Offer Prayers In Basement; ‘Puja To Start In 7 Days’, Says Lawyer

Varanasi: A court here on Wednesday granted permission for the Hindu community to conduct worship inside the sealed basement of the Gyanvapi mosque. According to the court’s ruling, Hindu devotees are now permitted to offer prayers at ‘Vyas Ka Tekhana’, a sealed section within Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque. Additionally, the court instructed the district administration to facilitate the required arrangements within the next seven days. Worship at this particular spot had stopped since 1993.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, who represented the Hindu side in court, said, “Hindu side allowed to offer prayers at ‘Vyas Ka Tekhana’. The District Administration will have to make arrangements within 7 days. Everyone will now have the right to perform puja”.

Mosque committee to challenge decision

Akhlaque Ahmad, representing the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, expressed intentions to contest the decision in a superior court. The court has scheduled February 8 for the hearing of an application filed by the mosque committee, which seeks dismissal of the plea.

The district court’s ruling follows a petition submitted to the Supreme Court by four Hindu women requesting excavation and a scientific survey of a sealed portion of the mosque. This move came after an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report suggested the presence of a significant Hindu temple predating the mosque’s construction.

The mosque’s basement contains four ‘tahkhanas’ (cellars), one of which remains under the ownership of the Vyas family, who were former residents of the area. The Vyas family requested permission for the hereditary priest, claiming their right to perform rituals within the tahkhana once again.

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