Delhi: Supreme Court orders protection of Shivling found in Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, lifts ban on entry of Muslims

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New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that inside the Gyanvapi mosque, where the ‘shivalinga’ has been found, needs to be preserved, there should be no restriction on the entry of Muslims into the mosque to offer prayers. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha issued notice on a petition filed by the Management Committee Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid Varanasi against the April order of the Allahabad High Court, which sought the appointment of an advocate as Court Commissioner to inspect the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in the Varanasi court. The petition challenging the order was dismissed. The matter is likely to be fixed for further hearing later this week. The top court said the Shivling found inside the mosque during the survey needs to be preserved, but the ban on Muslims from offering prayers in the mosque is not correct. However, it did not consider the petition seeking stay of the proceedings before the trial court, which was scheduled to receive the survey report of the court commissioner.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the petitioner, argued that the order of the trial court to seal the ‘vuzukhana’ (place to wash hands, feet and face before praying) is not correct, where the alleged Shivling’ is found. Referring to the Places of Worship Act, he said that the status quo has been changed and Vuzukhana has been used since ancient times.

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Ahmadi sought permission to use the wuzukhana saying that it is necessary to use it before prayers. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, however, said that if anyone sets his foot on the ‘Shivalinga’ during Wuzu, it will disturb the law and order. Making this argument, he urged the apex court to seal the area. After hearing the arguments, the top court ordered the sealing of the area. Pic Credit: Internet 

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