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VHP welcomes Varanasi court’s decision on Gyanvapi mosque verdict

|HT|


Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has welcomed a Varanasi court’s decision that a plea seeking the right to pray daily to idols installed inside the Gyanvapi Masjid complex is not barred under existing laws and should be decided on merits amounted, saying the first hurdle to reclaiming the site for Hindus has been crossed.


VHP, the hardline affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has been spearheading a campaign for reclaiming the mosque next to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the Krishna Janambhoomi, and the construction of a temple in Mathura’s Idgah.

“The Varanasi court has now decided that the Varanasi suit is not injuncted by the Places of Worship (special provisions) Act of 1991. The application of the other party has been dismissed. The first hurdle has been crossed and now the court will hear the matter on its own merits,” VHP’s international working president Alok Kumar said on Monday.


Kumar earlier stressed the Places of Worship Act does not apply to Gyanvapi as the discovery of a ‘Shivling’ showed the structure was a temple even before the law came into being. The Act prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

VHP has been demanding that Gyanvapi and Mathura should be delinked from the provisions of the Act like in the case of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.


“We do hope and look forward to a victory, for the law, the justice, and the truth, are with us. This is a religious and spiritual matter therefore, the decision should be accepted with grace and calmness and not be interpreted in terms of victory or defeat,” Kumar said.

VHP and the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have been vocal in their demand for reclaiming places of Hindu religious significance and have been exuberant in their reaction to the Varanasi district court’s verdict. BJP opted for a restrained response.


“We respect and welcome the court’s decision that the Hindu women’s petition was maintainable. Even in the case of Ram Janmabhoomi, we said that we will accept the court’s verdict. Today a grand temple is coming up in Ayodhya owing to the [Supreme] court order…” said Chandra Mohan, BJP’s spokesperson in Uttar Pradesh.

BJP stands to politically gain from the verdict even as it has opted not to take up the issue of reclaiming temples as a campaign as was done for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.


A BJP leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the party believes the issue should be resolved in a court of law. “While it is conscious of the public sentiment, the party does not want any unrest among communities. It is for this reason, that party president [JP Nadda] in May clarified the issue of Gyanvyapi would be settled by the court or the Constitution and the party would follow it in letter and spirit.”


The leader underlined no resolutions have been passed for the construction of a Krishna Temple or allowing prayers in Gyanvapi. The BJP passed a resolution for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya in 1989 at its Palampur national executive.


(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)