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Gyanvapi dispute: Petitioner says plea based on ‘British map’



Jitendra Singh Vishen, head of the Vishwa Vaidik Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), which is among the petitioners in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex case, has said their petition is based on a “British-era map”, which also formed the basis of a court case filed in 1936 by three Muslims who had demanded that the land be handed over to the community.

Visen told reporters, “If you inspect the premises today, you can find that 90 per cent of the structures are according to the map. Moreover, in the ‘shastras’, Lord Ganesha is on the northern side of the Adi Vishweshwar Temple, while Shringar Gauri is on the western side and the southern side has Kartikeya. Many parts in the books may be correct but some questions may remain,” he added.

Advocate Anupam Dwivedi, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners, however, said the purpose of the court-ordered survey was to find out the exact location of the deities and admitted that only an examination could determine the correct location.

Earlier, Acharya Ashok Dwivedi, who was chairman of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust between 2013 and 2019, had claimed that two books about the history of Varanasi say the idols are located elsewhere.

The two books, he said, were ‘Varanasi Vaibhav’, written by scholar Kubernath Sukul, and ‘Kashi Gaurav’ by Shivananda Saraswati, a disciple of ‘Dharm Samrat’ Karpatri, a renowned spiritual leader.

“In the book by Sukul, on page 221, the presence of Maa Shringar Gauri has been mentioned (as located) on the ishan side (north-eastern) of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and inside the Annapurna Temple (within the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor). In another book by Shivananda Sarasvati, the presence of the deity has been mentioned as plot 3/58 in Mohalla Bansphatak (at a distance of over 100 metres from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple),” Dwivedi stated.

He alleged that, “People are trying to gain cheap publicity by filing such petitions.”

He further said, adding that a commission should be set up to locate the Maa Shringar Gauri idol.

Maa Shringar Gauri is believed to be a manifestation of Hindu God Shiva’s wife Parvati. A carving of the deity, according to the petitioners’ plea, is located along a platform to the back of the Gyanvapi Mosque, outside the barricading that surrounds it. The public is not allowed to offer prayers here except twice a year during Navratri.

It is the location of this ‘sthal’ that is being contested by Dwivedi, who claims that worship at the site mentioned in the petition began only after campaigns by Hindutva organisations.

“We and our families have been staying here for the past 800 years but have never heard that there was a Shringar Gauri Sthal at the place where it is being talked about. We only got to know about it when outfits like Shiv Sena and VHP started to offer water to the carvings there in 2004-2005,” Dwivedi said.

He also claimed that the Gyanvapi Mosque was previously known as ‘Alamgiri Masjid’, adding that this was acknowledged by historian James Princep in his book ‘Benares Illustrated’ (1833).

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First roza in Mumbai on 24th March: All india Sunni Jamiyat e ulama




Mumbai: Today was the 29th day of the month of Shaban al-Mu’zam and at the time of sunset, an attempt was made to see the moon of the month of Ramadan, but the moon was not seen. Although the sky was completely clear and there was not even a cloud of any kind of fog, despite this, the moon of the month of Ramadan (1444 Hijri) was not seen.

announcement by the All India Sunni Jamiat Ulama and Sunni Ruiyyatt Hilal Committee.

“Today dated 29th Sha’ban al-Mu’zam 1444 Hijri according to 22 March 2023, an attempt was made to see the moon of Ramadan after Maghrib prayer, but it could not be seen, nor was there a tradition from anywhere. The news of the crescent was received, so the Sunni Crescent Sighting Committee And it is announced by Sunni scholars that tomorrow 23rd March, Thursday 30th of Sha’ban is Shaban al-Mu’zam, and God willing, Friday 24th March will be the 1st of Ramadan, i.e. the first fast.”

Team Mumbai Press

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Delhi HC reserves order on Satyendar Jain’s bail plea in PMLA casev




The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on bail pleas of jailed Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain and his two aides in a money laundering case.

Jain has been in custody since May 30 last year and his co-accused are Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma heard arguments by accused’s counsel, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A trial court court had, on November 17, 2022, dismissed the former Delhi minister’s bail application.

The HC later issued notice on his bail plea.

According to the trial court, it has prima facie come on record that Satyendar Jain was “actually involved” in hiding the proceeds of crime by paying cash to entry operators based in Kolkata and then bringing the money into three companies against the sale of shares to demonstrate that the revenue of these three companies was clean.

In the petition before the high court, Jain argued that the Special Judge and Enforcement Directorate have gravely misread and misapplied the Prevention of Money Laundering Act “by identifying proceeds of crime solely on the basis of accommodation entries”.

The accommodation entries cannot itself lead to a punishable offence under PMLA, it was argued.

Because the charge sheet has already been filed in the case, Jain said that he is “not required to be incarcerated” during the trial.

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SC to set up bench to hear Bilkis Bano plea against release of 11 convicts




The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to set up a special bench to hear a plea against the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case, which also involves the killing of her several family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Advocate Shobha Gupta, representing Bano, mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud. The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, assured Gupta that a new bench will be formed to hear the case.

The Chief Justice said, “I will have a bench constituted. We need to break two benches for it. We will look at this in the evening.”

In January this year, the top court had said the question of maintainability would not arise in a matter related to remission of 11 life terms convicts.

In the plea, Bano said release of all the convicts came as a shock to the petitioner, to her grown-up daughters, to her family, and also to the society at large, nationally, and internationally.

The petition said: “The premature release of all the convicts came as a shock not only to the petitioner, to her grown up daughters, to her family, but also to the society at large, nationally and internationally, and the society across segments had shown their anger, disappointment, distrust and protest to the clemency shown by the government by releasing criminals like the 11 convicts of the case.”

Terming the release order mechanical, the plea said the premature release of the convicts in much talked about case of Bilkis Bano, has shaken the conscience of the society and resulted in several agitations across the country.

All 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government and released on August 15, last year.

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