No relief for Muslims, Allahabad HC says puja in Gyanvapi mosque to continue

The Allahabad High Court on Friday refused to give any relief to the Muslim side, which had petitioned against the Varanasi court order allowing Hindus to perform puja inside Gyanvapi mosque cellar.

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A single bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Aggarwal ordered the Advocate General to maintain law and order within and outside the Gyanvapi mosque premises. The next hearing of the case will be on February 6.

The mosque committee had earlier approached the Supreme Court, contesting a district judge’s order allowing puja in the mosque’s southern cellar, but was directed to the Allahabad High Court.

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Denying relief, the High Court observed that the mosque committee failed to challenge the January 17 order and did not seek a halt to the district court’s decision allowing puja in the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

This decision follows a move by four women petitioners who approached the Supreme Court, requesting an excavation and survey of the sealed mosque section.

The plea was prompted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report, supporting the Hindu claim that a significant Hindu temple predates the Gyanvapi mosque construction.

Meanwhile, the petitioner, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which manages Gyanvapi mosque, appealed to people of the Muslim community to keep their shops closed on Friday in protest against puja performed in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque, a day after the district court allowed such prayers.

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