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Muslims Offer 1700 sqft Land Adjacent to Gyanvapi Mosque for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor

News18 logo News18 24-07-2021 Qazi Faraz Ahmad
an old stone building: Muslims Offer 1700 sqft Land Adjacent to Gyanvapi Mosque for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor © Provided by News18 Muslims Offer 1700 sqft Land Adjacent to Gyanvapi Mosque for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor

The Muslim side and stakeholders at Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi have given 1700 square feet of land to the Temple administration for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, in return for which the temple administration has given them 1000 sqft of land at a different place. This land is however different from the disputed one, the matter of which is currently in court.

The decision to give 1700 land for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor was not an easy one for the Muslim side as the land is situated right in front of the Gyanvapi Mosque. The temple administration had asked for the land for the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, after which the Muslim side unanimously decided to give the land and on 8th July registry of the land was also done.

A temporary control room of the temple was established on this land in 1993, however, now this land is finally property of the temple. Speaking on the issue, Joint Secretary of Anjuam Intezamiya Mosque, SM Yasin said, “This plot was earlier given by Sunni Waqf Board for a control room, now when the work for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor started the temple administration needed this land as the way was very narrow. We consulted among ourselves and took permission from everyone before making the decision to give the land.”

SM Yasmin believes that this step will work as a bridge between the two communities and will give a message of peace and brotherhood. Speaking on the issue of mosque land which is in the court Yasmin said, “We are not going to give the Mosque land to anyone, we are fighting the matter in the court. The mosque land is ours and we are not giving it away. The land we have given is a different one and it was given as the temple administration needed it. Now it will have to be seen how the other side reciprocates.”

Earlier in the month of April this year, Varanasi Court gave its approval for the survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Gyanvapi Mosque complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In his order, a senior civil judge of the fast track court had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to examine the disputed premises by a five-member team of the Archaeological Survey of India at its expense. The court also stipulated that at least two members of the five-member team of eminent archaeologists should be from the minority community.

The court order came on a petition filed by a local lawyer VS Rastogi, who had demanded that the land entailing the Gyanvapi Mosque be restored to Hindus. The petition was filed in December 2019 on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in the court of civil judge. The petitioner claimed that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1664 pulled down a portion of the 2000-year-old Kashi Vishwanath temple to build the mosque in its place.

The petitioner requested for a survey of the entire Gyanvapi compound by the ASI. He had filed the petition as the ‘next friend’ of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar. In January 2020, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had filed an objection against the petition. The Gyanvyapi mosque management committee had also opposed the petition.

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