Days after the Varanasi district court allowed Hindus to hold prayers in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi complex, Nagendra Pandey, chair, Kashi Vishwanath Trust, said the ‘Vyasji Ka Tehkhana’ should be renamed as ‘tal Grih’ or ‘tal ghar’. “This (Vyas Ji Ka Tehkhana) should be renamed ‘tal grih’ or ‘tal ghar’. It is a very good name. This word and what it means are pious,” Pandey told media on February 2.
#WATCH | Gyanvapi case | UP: Dr Nagendra Pandey, Chair, Kashi Vishwanath Trust says, "….this (Vyas Ji Ka Tehkana) should be called as 'tal Grih' or 'tal ghar', it is a very good name…" pic.twitter.com/2KV0DhobsD
— ANI (@ANI) February 2, 2024
Earlier, on February 1, the Masjid Intezamia Committee of Gyanvapi Complex of Varanasi filed a revision petition in Allahabad High Court against the Varanasi court’s order allowing Hindus to pray inside the southern celler of Gyanvapi Complex.
In its plea filed with the HC, the complex committee sought a stay on the Varanasi court order.
Arguing that the petition regarding the maintainability of the suit under Order 7, Rule 11 has not been decided, the panel, in its plea, said the order allowing Hindus to pray in the disputed area was not correct. Shailendra Pathak from the mandir side filed a caveat demanding that the Hindu side be heard before the petition is taken up.
On January 31, the Varanasi district court allowed the Hindu side to offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi complex. The court directed the Varanasi district magistrate to make arrangements within seven days for ‘puja’ to be performed by the Hindu side and a pujari (priest) nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Trust. After the order of the court, “puja” and “aarti” were performed in the early hours on February 1.
The district court has issued the order on the plea of the head priest of Acharya Ved Vyas Peeth temple, Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas, seeking worship of Shringar Gauri and other visible, and invisible deities in the cellar of the complex. Vyas is the scion of the family which was performing “puja” in this cellar till December 1993. The plea stated that Vyas’s maternal grandfather, priest Somnath Vyas, used to perform prayers there till 1993 when the cellar was closed by the authorities.
Following the Varanasi court order, Muslim side lawyer Akhlaq Ahmed said, “The order has overlooked the Advocate Commissioner report of 2022, ASI’s report, and the decision of 1937, which was in our favour. The Hindu side has not placed any evidence that prayers were held before 1993. There is no such idol in the place.”
The complex has four ‘Tehkhana’ (cellars) in the basement, of which one is still in the possession of the Vyas family, who used to live there. Vyas had petitioned that, as a hereditary pujari, he be allowed to enter the tahkhana and resume pooja. The ASI survey, ordered by the same court, in connection with a related case, suggested that the complex was constructed during Aurangzeb’s rule over the remains of a Hindu mandir.
(with inputs from ANI)