Muslim society should step forward and offer a solution for a “historical mistake”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said referring to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute
The comments come at a time when Allahabad High Court is hearing a petition by the mosque committee, challenging a lower court’s order for a survey by the Archaeological Survey of India inside the mosque complex. A ruling on the petition is expected on August 3.
In an interview to the news agency ANI, part of a podcast with ANI Editor Smita Prakash, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said there would be a dispute if Gyanvapi is called a mosque.
“If we call it a mosque, there will be a dispute. I feel whoever has been blessed with sight by God, that person should see. What is a trishul (trident) doing inside a mosque. We did not put it there. There is a jyotirlinga, dev pratimas (idols),” he said.
“The walls are screaming and saying something. I feel there should be a proposal from the Muslim society that there has been a historical mistake and we need a solution,” the Chief Minister said.
Responding to Mr Adityanath’s remarks, Hyderabad MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Chief Minister Yogi (Adityanath) knows that the Muslim side has opposed the ASI survey in Allahabad High Court and the judgment will be delivered in a few days, still he gave such a controversial statement, this is judicial overreach.”
The Gyanvapi mosque hit headlines in 2021 after a group of women approached a court in Varanasi for permission to worship deities in the Gyanvapi complex, located right next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.
The court then ordered a video survey of the complex during which an object was discovered that a section of people claimed to be a shivling. The mosque management committee, however, said it was part of a fountain in the ‘Wuzukhana’ (pool) to wash hands and feet before prayers.
The matter reached the Supreme Court, which sealed off the pool to prevent the situation from escalating.
Earlier this year, Allahabad High Court dismissed the mosque committee’s petition that challenged the maintainability of the request to worship Hindu deities inside the premises
The Varanasi district court ordered an ASI survey at the mosque based on a separate petition by four of the 5 women who said the only way to establish whether the Gyanvapi mosque was built after razing a Hindu temple is through a scientific survey.