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Ganga-Jamuni culture must not erode, say Kashi locals on Gyanvapi row


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VARANASI: With Gyanvapi Shringar Gauri case in the Supreme Court, leaders from both religions voice different opinions, yet want the “Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb” of Kashi to stay intact .

Hearing the matter on Thursday, the Supreme Court said it would wait for the Varanasi district judge's decision on the objections of the Gyanvapi Mosque Committee regarding the admissibility of a civil suit filed by Hindu devotees.

The top court had on May 20 transferred the civil suit filed by Hindu devotees regarding the Gyanvapi Mosque from a senior civil judge to the Varanasi district judge.

Though the matter has obvious political underpinning with religious bodies differing on many points, they are united in their call for calm and keeping intact the original bonhomie of the city.

Former Mahant of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Kulpati Tiwari said that some people are deliberately dragging the Gyanvapi issue "from here to Delhi" just to gain popularity.

Tiwari said that when the matter is in court at the district level, then one should wait for the decision of the court here.

"We are waiting for the district court's decision and if the verdict does not come in our favour, we will approach the high court," he told PTI.

Mohd Yasin, secretary, Anjuman Intezamia Committee, concurred saying the people of Kashi too want the verdict of the local court.

Swaran Mukherjee, a resident of Mahmoorganj in Varanasi, insisted that the matter is first settled in the local court, saying that "the matter is between Hindu-Muslim brothers of Banaras and there is no need to make it national issue."

Amit Rai, a resident of Sigra, however, said that Muslims should voluntarily forfeit their claim on the mosque.

“History is witness that Muslim invaders demolished the temple and built a mosque, so Muslims should set an example by handing over Baba Adi Vishweshwar and Gyanvapi to Hindus keeping in mind the Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb," he said.

"Baba Vishwanath himself has appeared in Gyanvapi, hence that particular place is very significant for Hindus," said Mahant Vijay Puri of Baba Batuk Bhairav.

He said, "Kashi has been a believer of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, Muslim brothers have got a chance to rectify the mistake of their ancestors, they should not miss it."

Haji Syed Farman Haider, spokesperson of Shia Jama Masjid and secretary of Hazrat Ali Masjid Committee, said the court's decision will be supreme, and rued the wedge that has been driven between the two communities.

"We have offered prayers at the ghats of Banaras with water of Holy Ganga. No one ever stopped us," Haider said.

“But today there is a ruckus in the country for even offering Namaz.

Kashi has always been an example of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.

The atmosphere of the country should not be spoiled over a temple or a mosque," he said, adding that the communities were as inseparable as water.

Shahar-e Mufti Maulana Abdul Batin Nomani said, "Although this trial is not maintainable under the Worship Act, we will accept the court's decision."

One Rakhi Singh and others from the Hindu side have filed a petition in the court of civil Judge (senior division) of Varanasi with a request for protection of deities and permission for regular worship at Shringar Gauri located in Gyanvapi complex.

In May, a video survey of Gyanvapi campus was also done at the court's order.

During the survey, the Hindu side claimed to have found a Shivling in the ‘Wazu Khana' of the Gyanvapi Mosque.

The report of the survey was presented in the court on May 19.

The Muslim side objected to the videography survey saying that the trial court's decision was against the provisions of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 and approached the Supreme Court with the same contention.

The court refused to stay the videography survey, but ordered the matter to be transferred to the district court.

The matter has been in the district court since then.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)