‘BJP using Gyanvapi to divert attention’

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Akhilesh alleged that the BJP has been working for the policy of “one nation, one industrialist”…reports Asian Lite News

SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday said the BJP uses its “invisible friends” to rake up issues like the Gyanvapi mosque to divert people’s attention from issues like price rise and unemployment.

“Gyanvapi mosque and other such incidents, the BJP does these things intentionally. Either the BJP does it, or their hidden and invisible friends do such things. They (BJP) push their invisible friends in the front. That’s because the BJP doesn’t want to answer fundamental questions like the rise in the prices of diesel and petrol,” said Akhilesh during his visit to Azamgarh.

Asked about the petition on the Taj Mahal, Akhilesh said, “The BJP should remember that their Prime Minister had gone to Agra and assured the tourism industry there that ‘one-trillion economy of the country is only possible with the Taj Mahal’’. If their PM is saying this, then what do their invisible friends want? They want hatred because they have to contest the upcoming polls and do not want to answer questions on inflation and unemployment,” added the SP chief.

Akhilesh alleged that the BJP has been working for the policy of “one nation, one industrialist”.

“When you and I remain busy watching this argument, we hardly realise what is being sold. Who is being put in front to buy these things? Whenever such things (like mosques) are shown, you should understand that some valuables of the country are being sold. I feel the slogan given by the BJP of ‘one nation, one ration’. Maybe such incidents are being projected, and the BJP might be working on the ‘one nation, one industrialist’ policy. By showing this (mosque), maybe several of the country’s assets are being sold,” he alleged.

SC orders protection of ‘Shivling’ found in Gyanvapi mosque

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Varanasi administration to protect and seal the area where a “Shivling” was found, during a video survey, inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex, while also telling the authorities concerned to not restrict Muslims from entering the mosque to offer namaz.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha said: “The area where Shivling is found should be protected.” The bench added that no manner of restriction should be imposed on Muslims entering the mosque to offer namaz or religious observances.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Committee of Management, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi, urged the top court to stay the proceedings before the trial court in Varanasi. The trial court’s order for survey of the area by appointing Court Commissioners was questioned by the masjid committee, which moved the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s April 21 order. The high court had declined to intervene into the matter. The survey was conducted on May 14, 15 and 16.

Ahmadi urged the bench to see the manner in which order is passed and added that it shows the lack of fairness. The order was passed in a suit for worship filed by Hindu devotees. The masjid committee opposed the suit saying it is barred by the provisions of Places of Worship Act, and contended that no tinkering with any place of worship as on August 15, 1947, was permitted.

“How could you seal the premises; you are altering the status quo. It is almost sealing the property and also restricting the prayer inside the mosque on the basis a temple existed..” he said.

Ahmadi also contended that the commission went on for survey, notwithstanding that the top court was already seized of the matter and the trial court acted on an application for sealing of the premises without notice to the other side.

“How can they seal the premises? There’s a string of illegal orders,” he said, seeking stay on the orders. He emphasized that the status quo is now sought to be altered, as entry of Muslims is restricted inside the mosque.

Ahmadi argued all the orders passed by the civil judge were non est in the eyes of law and were in teeth of the top court’s judgment in Ayodhya case, where it interpreted Section 3 and 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Ahmadi said: “It is a bit too dangerous to allow the suit to be heard over there. All orders passed by the trial court were patently without jurisdiction.”

The bench told Ahmadi if a “Shivling” has been found, then balance needs to be maintained. “We will direct the District Magistrate to ensure protection of the place without restricting Muslims from praying,” it noted.

The bench modified the trial court’s order which ordered sealing of the area, where the “Shivling” was found, and barred entry of Muslims over there.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said: “The area where Shivling is found, it should be protected, suppose someone goes there and touches with feet, there will be law and order problem.”

The top court did not allow the plea for use of wuzukhana — a place for washing hands, feet, and face before offering prayers — where the ‘Shivling’ has been purportedly found.

The top court was informed that advocate Hari Shankar Jain on whose plea the trial court passed ex parte order on May 16 had developed some health issues and he was currently admitted in a hospital at Varanasi.

The masjid committee contended that the suit is all about changing the character of a shrine which is a mosque, and this is not maintainable.

However, the top court cited that the suit filed before the Varanasi court was not title suit but one for injunction against worship at ‘Shringar Gauri’.

The top court has issued notice on the plea filed by masjid committee and scheduled the matter for further hearing on May 19.

AIMPLB to provide legal aid to Gyanvapi panel

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Tuesday held an emergency meeting amid the ongoing row surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi where claims of a Shivling being found inside the mosque during a survey was made on Monday.

A source said that since the matter is being heard by the court, the Board’s legal team would extend all the necessary assistance to the Muslim side.

The meeting lasted around two hours during which 45 members of the AIMPLB interacted virtually.

A source in the know of the things said, “We will go through the matters discussed and presented in the court on Tuesday, and our legal team will provide help to the Muslim side. At the same time, we will try to reach out to the people with facts through pamphlets, books etc. so that people don’t get misguided.”

“Also, we would like to know the stand of the Central government as well as other political parties on the Places of Worship Act, 1991,” the source added.

Then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had in 1991 brought a law pertaining to the places of worship.

The law prohibits conversion or changing the religious outlook of any place of worship that existed before August 15, 1947. Anyone attempting to do that can face fine and imprisonment between one year and three years.

The AIMPLB would hold another meeting on Wednesday to present its views in details.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court directed the Varanasi administration to protect and seal the area where a ‘Shivling’ was found during a video survey inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex, while also directing the authorities concerned not to restrict Muslims from entering the mosque to offer namaz.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha said: “The area where the Shivling is found should be protected.”

The bench added that no manner of restriction should be imposed on Muslims entering the mosque to offer namaz or religious observances.

The top court has listed the matter for further hearing on May 19.

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