Setback For Muslim Side As High Court Refuses To Stay ‘Puja’ At Gyanvapi Mosque

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Friday declined to stay the Varanasi District Court order allowing Hindus to pray inside the Gyanvapi mosque.

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which looks after affairs of the mosque, had challenged the Varanasi court’s January 31 verdict allowing a priest to perform puja in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi mosque. The Muslim side first appealed in Supreme Court, which directed the appellants to go to the high court.

The HC asked the applicant to amend its pleas to include a challenge to a January 17 order consequent to which the January 31 order was given.

The bench of Justice Rohit Rajan Agarwal asked lawyer SFA Naqvi, representing the mosque committee, why the basic order of January 17 was not challenged. Naqvi replied that they intend to challenge it as well but appealed against the January 31 order as puja was started within a few hours of the ruling.

The next hearing is on February 6.

On January 31, the district order directed the Varanasi District Magistrate to make arrangements for the puja within seven days and appoint a priest nominated by Shri Kashi Viswanath Temple Trust.

AIMC had also called for a bandh and advised Muslim women to stay in their houses on Friday.

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