The Varanasi district and sessions court Monday dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s challenge against the civil suits that questioned the Gyanvapi mosque’s title and the land surrounding it. Five Hindu women had filed petitions seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri on the outer wall of the mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Uttar Pradesh.
The dismissal by district judge A K Vishvesh means that the civil suits will be heard in detail and examination of evidence will follow.A court today agreed to hear a group of Hindu women who want year-long access to pray inside the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, next to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple. The women’s petition will be heard on September 22.
The five women want permission for year-long puja and rituals in a part of the mosque complex and claim there are idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in other parts of the mosque complex. Muslim petitioners had urged the court to throw out the petition. Earlier this year, a lower court ordered the filming of the centuries-old mosque based on the petition of the women.
On May 20, the Supreme Court, underlining the “complexity of the issues involved in the civil suit”, transferred the Gyanvapi dispute that was pending before the Varanasi civil judge (senior division) to the district judge. While the Hindu side said the mosque was built on the site of a temple, the Muslim side said the mosque was built on waqf premises and that the Places of Worship Act barred changing its character. Judge Vishvesha began hearing the pleas in June. The media was not allowed to witness the proceedings.