Gyanvapi Case: The Hindu petitioners’ demand for carbon dating to determine the age of an alleged ‘Shivalinga’ found in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex was rejected by the city’s senior-most judge. Hindu petitioners will challenge this order in the Supreme Court.
The ‘Shivalinga’ or relic of Lord Shiva was found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex earlier this year during a video survey conducted on the orders of a lower court, in response to a petition by five Hindu women to pray for a year access was requested. Temple inside the mosque complex. The hearing of that case is still going on.
A Varanasi court said any survey such as carbon dating would be in violation of the Supreme Court’s order to seal the location of the “shivalinga” inside the mosque. Also, any damage to the structure would be in violation of the Supreme Court’s orders to protect the “Shivling”, the court said.
The court said any damage to the “Shivling” would also hurt religious sentiments and reduce the chances of a legal settlement of the dispute.
Last month, four of the five Hindu petitioners requested a scientific inquiry, including carbon dating, to establish the age of the “shivalinga”. The women claim that there are ancient idols of Hindu gods and goddesses inside the mosque.
The Masjid Committee objected to such an inquiry, arguing that the matter was about worship at a dargah inside the mosque and had nothing to do with its structure. He argued that the object, referred to as a “shivalinga”, was actually a “fountain” for purification rituals performed by Muslims before prayers.
Last week, the court asked whether “Shivalinga” can be made a part of the case and whether a scientific inquiry can in fact be ordered. Vishnu Shankar Jain, who represents Hindu women, told NDTV: “We said two things – that in our prayer we asked for the right to pray in front of visible and invisible deities inside the mosque premises. The Shivling was first covered with water and when The water was removed so it became a visible deity and hence it is part of the suit,” Mr Jain told IndiaNews.
On 12 September, the Varanasi District Judge dismissed the challenge of the Masjid Committee, which argued that the case of Hindu women had no legal basis.
His challenge was rejected in all the three cases cited by him. The most important of these is the 1991 law, which barred the status of a place of worship that existed on August 15, 1947. The petitioners do not want ownership, only the right to worship, the court ruled.
Earlier this year, a trial court in Varanasi ordered the filming of the centuries-old mosque based on a petition by women. Videography reports leaked controversially by the petitioners claimed that a “shivalinga” was found in a pond used for “wazhu” or mandatory purification rituals before Muslim prayers.
The Gyanvapi Masjid, located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi, is on the list of mosques that Hindu fundamentalists believe were built on the ruins of temples. It was one of the three lines of temple-mosque, apart from Ayodhya and Mathura, that the BJP had erected in the 1980s and 90s.
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