In a significant development, the Allahabad High Court has granted permission for an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey on Gyanvapi Mosque, located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The decision was welcomed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hema Malini and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who expressed hopes for a swift resolution to the long-standing dispute.
While speaking to the news agency ANI, Hema Malini stressed the importance of a prompt decision, stating that continuous talks without a resolution could have been more productive. She believed that a swift conclusion to the matter would benefit the nation.
Keshav Prasad Maurya also lauded the court's verdict, expressing confidence that the truth would emerge after the ASI survey, drawing parallels to the resolution of the Ramjanmabhumi case.
On the other hand, some expressed reservations about the survey. Senior advocate Harishankar Jain asserted that the ASI survey would reveal evidence suggesting the site was originally a Hindu temple, fuelling the hopes of the Hindu community for grand temple construction.
The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, called for the enforcement of the Places of Worship Act at all religious sites in the country. He expressed concern about the potential implications of the survey on the mosque, which has been a place of worship for Muslims for around 600 years. The Muslim side contemplated approaching the Supreme Court to challenge the order.
Rekha Pathak, a petitioner representing the Hindu side, celebrated the court's verdict as a victory for the Hindu community, emphasizing that truth prevails where Lord Shiva resides. She expressed enthusiasm about the survey outcome while expressing the fears of the Muslim side regarding the potential loss of the mosque if the survey supports the Hindu claims.
Following the verdict, District Magistrate Varanasi, S Rajalingam, assured full support from the local administration to facilitate the ASI survey.
The dispute over the Gyanvapi Mosque has a long history, and the recent court ruling has reignited tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities. The Supreme Court's interim order to stay the enforcement of the ASI survey until July 26 aimed to allow the mosque committee time to approach the Allahabad High Court with their plea.
As the ASI survey progresses, the nation watches closely for a resolution to this sensitive issue that holds immense cultural and religious significance for both communities.
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