Hindus Get Right to Worship in Disputed Gyanvapi Site; High Court Demands Muslim Side’s Response on Ablution Area

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: In a monumental decision, the Varanasi District Court has granted the Hindu side the right to offer puja in the Vyas Tehkhana portion of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. This marks a significant victory for Hindus in the 31-year-long legal battle over the disputed site, while another legal development adds further complexity to the case.

The court ordered the receiver appointed for the site to make necessary arrangements for the commencement of puja within seven days. Hindu petitioners have hailed this judgment as a “huge victory” and a step towards reclaiming their historical rights to the disputed holy site.

Adding another layer to the legal saga, the Allahabad High Court has asked the mosque committee to respond to a plea by the Hindu party seeking an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque’s wuzukhana, the ablution area used by Muslims before prayer.

The court observed that the ASI’s Gyanvapi survey report, completed earlier in 2023, is “worth considering” and raises questions that could be further addressed by the wuzukhana survey. Hindu petitioners believe the survey could reveal evidence supporting their claim of a demolished temple beneath the mosque.

Both the court’s ruling and the High Court’s request are likely to ignite further legal battles and potentially heighten tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities. While Hindus celebrate the puja permission as a crucial step, Muslims express concerns about its implications for the mosque’s sanctity and the potential reopening of a sensitive historical wound.

Legal experts view these developments as significant milestones in the Gyanvapi case. The puja permission strengthens the Hindu side’s position, while the request for the wuzukhana survey opens a new avenue for investigation and potential legal challenges.