Gyanvapi: Mosque committee approaches High Court against prayers in sealed cellar

A Varanasi Court granted permission to conducted prayers in the sealed cellar

Gyanvapi mosque cellar prayers A priest performs prayers in the basement of Gyanvapi mosque following court orders allowing the resumption of the practice that was discontinued three decades back | PTI

The Gyanvapi Masjid committee approached Allahabad High Court on Thursday and sought an urgent hearing against a Varanasi District Court order permitting the Hindu side to offer prayers in the sealed cellar of the mosque. The mosque committee argued that the district court’s order was implemented in haste.

Daily prayers have begun at 'Vyas Ka Tehkhana' in Gyanvapi mosque. Prayers were offered on Wednesday night itself after the Varanasi district court directed the district administration to make arrangements in seven days to offer prayers in the sealed cellar. This will involve "proper arrangements" with metal barricades at the complex. 

Chairman of Kashi Vishwanath Trust Nagendra Pandey said following court orders, the cellar was opened at 10.30pm on Wednesday and poojas were performed. Official sources in the district administration told PTI that at around 9.30pm on Wednesday, the members of the Kashi-Vishwanath Trust were called and the barricades before the Nandi statue facing the mosque's 'wazukhana' were removed. 

Though the mosque side approached the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing on Wednesday night itself, they were advised to approach the High Court. 

In their application, advocates Nizam Pasha and Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi submitted that under the garb of the order, the local administration, in "hot haste", has deployed a massive police force on the site and is in the process of cutting the grills located at the southern side of the mosque.

 "There is no reason for the administration to undertake this task in hot haste in the dead of the night as the order passed by the Trial Court had already given them one week to make the necessary arrangements. The obvious reason for such unseemly haste is that the administration in collusion with the plaintiffs is trying to foreclose any attempt by the Mosque Managing Committee to avail of their remedies against the said order by presenting them with a fait accompli," their letter said. 

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