A Hindutva organization has filed a petition before a civil judge in Varanasi seeking to ban Muslims from entering the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Vanarasi of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, NDTV reported on Wednesday.
The organization has also demanded that Hindus should be allowed to worship a shilling – a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva – that was allegedly found at the site during a video survey.
The plea has been filed by Kiran Singh, international general secretary of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, before Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, the Hindustan Times reported. The judge is slated to hear the plea on Wednesday.
On May 20, a suit filed by Hindu plaintiffs seeking to offer prayers at the back of the western wall of the Gyanvapi mosque was transferred from Diwakar’s court to Varanasi district court by the Supreme Court citing the complexity of the matter. The plaintiffs have claimed that an image of the Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the site.
The Supreme Court had also directed the district judge to decide on priority an application filed by the Gyanvapi mosque committee on the maintainability of the suit filed by the Hindu petitioners.
The mosque committee had filed the application under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which allows a petition to be dismissed if it does not show a cause of action or is barred by law.
On Tuesday, the district court said that it will hear the mosque committee’s application on May 26.
The court directed both the Hindu and Muslim litigants to file any objections within seven days to the report of a commission that carried out a video survey of the mosque.
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On May 16, the civil court had directed district officials to seal a part of the mosque where a shilling was claimed to have been found during the video survey. However, the mosque committee claimed that the object is not a shilling, but a part of a stone fountain in the mosque’s wuzu khana, or ablution tank.