26 Feb 2024

Allahabad High Court Set to Decide Today on Hindu Prayer Permission in Gyanvapi Mosque Cellar

Allahabad: Today, the Allahabad High Court is expected to announce its verdict regarding a petition challenging the Varanasi district court's decision allowing Hindu prayers in one of the cellars of the Gyanvapi mosque.

On January 31, the Varanasi district court ruled in favor of permitting a priest to offer prayers in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque. This decision was based on a petition filed by Shailendra Kumar Pathak, a hereditary pujari, who sought permission to resume pooja in the cellar where his maternal grandfather had offered prayers until December 1993.

The mosque has four cellars in its basement, and one of them is claimed by the Vyas family, including Pathak. The district court's order followed an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report, revealing that the mosque might have been built during Aurangzeb's rule on the remains of a Hindu temple.

The mosque committee contested the petitioner's claims, stating that no idols were present in the cellar, and thus, no prayers were offered there until 1993. After the Supreme Court declined to hear the mosque committee's plea against the Varanasi district court order, the committee approached the Allahabad High Court on February 2.

Following hearings on February 15, the Allahabad High Court reserved its order, and today's verdict is awaited to determine whether Hindus will be permitted to pray in the Gyanvapi mosque's cellar.

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