1 Feb 2024

Varanasi: Worship begins from today in Vyas basement of Gyanvapi Mosque

Following the decision issued by the Varanasi district court on Wednesday, the district administration allowed worship in the Vyas basement of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex on Thursday morning.

Varanasi District Magistrate S Rajalingam conveyed this information to journalists early on Thursday, stating, "I have adhered to the court order."

When questioned about the barricades in front of the Vyas basement within the Gyanvapi campus, he reiterated, "The court order has been followed."

In response to queries from reporters about whether the worship took place, the DM reiterated, "We have complied with what the court has mandated."

Interestingly, 38 years ago, on February 1, 1986, the lock of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was opened.

Litigant Sohan Lal Arya confirmed on Thursday that access has been provided to the Vyas basement, but public visitation is currently restricted.

He expressed, "Today seems to be a moment of great pride. We are elated. The district judge's decision yesterday seemed unprecedented. While all arrangements are in place, the public is currently not allowed darshan there. We have been waiting for this moment for 40 years."

According to Arya, "A separate door has been created from the north, leading towards Baba's basement. Three policemen were present, and upon requesting darshan, we were informed that it is currently not permitted. Devotees will be allowed as soon as permission is granted."

Varanasi DM S Rajalingam, along with police and other officials, entered the Gyanvapi complex through gate number four of the Kashi Corridor around 11 pm. Laborers subsequently arrived to dismantle part of the barricade, creating a path in front of the Nandi statue at the Vishwanath temple complex.

Varanasi Police Commissioner Ashok Jain assured that law and order arrangements were in place. Approximately three hours later, at 2 am, DM S Rajalingam informed the media, "The court order has been implemented."

On Wednesday, the district court had granted the Hindu side the right to worship in the Vyas basement of the Gyanvapi Mosque, instructing the district magistrate to facilitate the handover within seven days.

Muslim side to challenge decision in HC

On Wednesday, the district court had given the Hindu side the right to worship in the Vyas basement of Gyanvapi Mosque.

The court had given 7 days time to the administration to implement this order.

However, the mosque side has announced to challenge the district court's decision in the Allahabad High Court.

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