Gyanvapi judgment: Owaisi questions the decision by the Varanasi court, stating that it is a violation of the Places of Worship Act and criticizes the judge for making the verdict on his last day before retirement.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi and called the judgement by the Varanasi court completely wrong and said that allowing Hindus to offer prayers inside the ‘Vyas ka Tekhana’ area is violation of Places of Worship Act. He also said that the Intezamia Masjid Committee will appeal in the Allahabad High Court against this decision.
While speaking to reporters, Asaduddin Owaisi said, “…The decision taken by the court has decided the entire matter…This is a violation of the Places of Worship Act, 1991…This is a completely wrong decision…”
“The judge who gave the decision was his last day before retirement. The judge appointed the District Magistrate as receiver on January 17 and finally he has directly given the verdict. He himself said that no prayers were offered since 1993. It has been 30 years. How does he know there is idol inside? This is violation of Places of Worship Act.”
He added, “He has ordered to open the grills within 7 days. 30 days should have been given to make an appeal. This is wrong decision. Till the time Modi government does not state that they stand by the Places of Worship Act this will go on. During Babri Masjid title suit judgement, I had raised this apprehension. Places of Worship Act was made a part of the basic structure of the Supreme Court decision, then why are the lower courts not following the order?”
Earlier on Wednesday, a Varanasi court allowed Hindu devotees to offer prayers inside the ‘Vyas Ka Tekhana’ area inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The court has asked the district administration to make the necessary arrangements in the next seven days. Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, told ANI, “Puja will start within seven days. Everyone will have the right to perform Puja.”
After the court granted permission for puja, advocate Sohan Lal Arya said, “We are feeling very proud today. The court’s decision yesterday was unprecedented…The arrangements have been made but it (Vyas Ka Tekhana) has not been opened for the devotees yet…”
Speaking on the court’s order, Muslim side lawyer Akhlaq Ahmed said that they will approach the Allahabad High Court to challenge the decision. Akhlaq Ahmed said, “We will approach the Allahabad High Court against the decision. The order has overlooked the Advocate Commissioner report of 2022, ASI’s report, and the decision of 1937, which was in our favour. Hindu side has not placed any evidence that prayers were held before 1993. There is no such idol in the place.”
Another Advocate Merajuddin Siddiqui said he would go to higher courts regarding this order.
“I will not accept any such order. The District Magistrate and the District President are both working hand in glove. We will fight it legally. This is happening to get political advantage. The same approach is being adopted, which was done in the Babri Masjid case. Commissioner’s report and ASI’s report earlier said that nothing was inside. We are very unhappy with the decision,” Merajuddin Siddiqui said
Meanwhile, the mosque has four ‘tahkhanas’ (cellars) in the basement, of which one is still in the possession of the Vyas family, who used to live there. Vyas had petitioned that, as hereditary pujari, he be allowed to enter the tahkhana and resume pooja.