A Varanasi court on February 6, fixed February 15 for the hearing of a petition seeking a survey of all closed basements in the Gyanvapi complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The matter of plea filed by petitioner Rakhi Singh, relating to the opening of the remaining ‘tehkhanas’.
Earlier today, the Allahabad High Court heard an appeal moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee challenging the Varanasi District Court order that allowed the Hindu side to offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi complex.
The court granted time to the Masjid Intezamia Committee of Gyanvapi complex to amend its pleadings to include a challenge to a January 17 order consequent to which the January 31 order was passed, which permitted Hindus to conduct prayers within the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi complex.
Referring to this, Hindu side lawyer, Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi said, “Opposing the ‘puja’ (in Vyas Ji Ka Tehkana), Anjuman Intezamia headed to the High Court. There is a hearing again today. There will also be arguments on the ASI surveys. The Supreme Court is also hearing the arguments regarding the ‘tahkhana’…”.
Another Hindu side lawyer, Anupam Dwivedi said that an application for the survey of the basements that are left has been submitted to the court, regarding which the hearing will be held tomorrow.
“ASI survey is already done…ASI has said that a total of 12 basements are there, but they couldn’t access some of them. We have given applications for the survey of the basements that are left. Regarding this, a hearing will take place tomorrow,” Dwivedi said.
Meanwhile, after the order of Varanasi District Court on Gyanvapi Complex, the petitioner and devotees have demanded to install bell and other puja materials in the Vyas ka ‘Tehkhana’ where prayers are being performed.
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.
(with inputs from ANI)