Banaras bandh: Varanasi Court permits Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi Mosque’s sealed basement

Banaras bandh: Varanasi Court permits Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi Mosque's sealed basement

Banaras bandh: Varanasi Court permits Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi Mosque's sealed basement

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In a significant development in the Gyanvapi dispute case, a Varanasi court has granted permission for Hindus to offer prayers inside the ‘Vyas Ka Tehkhana’ (sealed basement) area of the mosque complex. 

The court’s decision, issued in response to a plea by the head priest of Acharya Ved Vyas Peeth temple, allows for the worship of Shringar Gauri and other deities in the cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Earlier, the court had permitted the appointment of a receiver on the priest’s plea, leading to the district magistrate taking custody of the southern cellar of the mosque on January 23. 

The recent order instructs the authorities to make necessary arrangements, including steel fencing, to facilitate the priest’s entry for prayers within seven days.

The court has scheduled the next hearing in this case for February 8, providing time for the defendants, including the Anjuman Intejamia Masajid (Gyanvapi mosque management committee), to file their objections.

The legal proceedings have generated tension, with the Muslim side expressing displeasure over the decision. The Anjuman Arrangements Masjid Committee has even announced a Banaras bandh (shutdown) in protest.

This move has led to heightened security measures in the Gyanvapi area, with police deploying heavy forces to monitor the situation.

The Muslim side has also approached the High Court regarding worship in the Vyas basement, seeking an early hearing on the matter. The Anjuman Intejamia Mosque Committee is reportedly unhappy with allowing Hindu devotees to worship in the basement, leading to increased tensions in the region.

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