New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that labeling Gyanvapi in Varanasi as a ‘mosque complex’ will only lead to controversy and that the Muslim side should accept its ‘historical mistake’, a remark that has invited criticism from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi. In an interview with the news agency ANI, which was aired on Monday, Adityanath said that physical, scriptural, and other archaeological evidence inside the mosque should not be overlooked.
“If we call it a mosque, there will be a dispute. We should just call it Gyanvapi. 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 security inside, there are Central forces, there is a jyotirlinga, and dev pratimas (idols),” Yogi Adityanath, who is also the head priest of Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur, told ANI Editor Smita Prakash.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that you can ‘twist’ history but not the historic evidence that the walls of Gyanvapi are screaming and saying.
“I feel that a proposal should also come from the Muslim side accepting that there has been a historical mistake and that they should come up with a solution,” he added.
Owaisi hits back at Adityanath’s ‘historical mistake’ remark on Gyanvapi
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi hit back at UP CM Yogi Adityanath over his remarks on the Gyanvapi issue and termed it as a ‘judicial overreach’. The Hyderabad MP said that despite knowing that the matter is sub-judice, the senior BJP leader was making such a controversial statement which is directly a judicial overreach.
“Chief Minister Yogi knows that the Muslim side has opposed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey in Allahabad High Court and the judgment will be given by the HC in a few days, still, he gave such a controversial statement, this is judicial overreach,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by ANI.
“He should read about what Swami Vivekananda had said about a major temple in Odisha. He is a CM and he should follow the law… He is not willing to follow the law and wants to pressurize Muslims,” he added.
This is just a part of BJP’s communal politics, Owaisi said.
Gyanvapi row: Allahabad HC reserves verdict on ASI survey of mosque complex
Earlier last week, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday reserved till August 3 its verdict on a plea against a Varanasi district court order directing the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque was built upon a temple.
The court of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker also ordered that the stay on the ASI survey will continue till August 3. The high court was hearing the plea filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the mosque.
Appearing for the state of Uttar Pradesh, Advocate General Ajai Mishra said the state government is there to maintain law and order and that it has no concern with the survey.
The counsel for the Hindu side, Vishnu Shankar Jain, submitted that the district court had ordered for the ASI survey to come to a “logical conclusion regarding the existence of deities and nature and age of the structure”. He also presented in the court some photographs of the western side of the mosque showing the existence of Hindu idols.
During the hearing, SFA Naqvi, who represented the mosque committee, submitted that the matter regarding the maintainability of a suit is pending before the Supreme Court, and if the apex court later rules that the suit is not maintainable, then the entire exercise will be futile.
Thus, a survey should be done after the top court’s decision on the maintainability of the suit, Naqvi argued.
When the hearing started in the case, ASI Additional Director Alok Tripathi assured the court that the ASI is not going to do any digging at the structure.
The high court on Wednesday said that it would take up the matter at 3:30 pm on Thursday, but Chief Justice Diwaker started hearing the case 15 minutes in advance and reserved its order after hearing the arguments.
Earlier, Naqvi said, “Court cannot be used to collect evidence by sending a commission when the plaintiff had no evidence in support of his case.”
Replying to this, the Hindu side’s lawyer Jain said, “Existence and non-existence of deities is a matter of evidence. To secure evidence, which is there and parties are not in a position to produce themselves, the court can issue a commission to collect such evidence.”
Naqvi told the court that the mosque committee has attached photographs of various digging equipment which the ASI team was carrying when it reached the mosque premises. “It shows that they had intentions of digging the spot,” he argued.
On this, Chief Justice Diwaker said that though they were carrying equipment, it doesn’t show they had intentions to dig.
Later, Tripathi, the ASI official, clarified that as the ASI team visited the mosque site for the first time, it carried some equipment to remove debris.
Jain also showed photographs of the western wall of the structure and said that there are various signs of the Hindu religion, including “Swastik”, engraved on the wall.
“There are a number of Hindu artifacts on the wall and inside the mosque. It can be proved by expert opinion which can be given by ASI. Aurangzeb while demolishing the temple raised a superstructure on the remains of the old temple and it will be determined by the ASI survey,” Jain said.
Citing various court orders, Jain said that a survey/commission can be ordered at any stage of the trial and a commission can be issued to collect evidence.
Advocate Punit Gupta appearing for UP Sunni Waqf Board argued that the application for an ASI survey was premature as even in the Ram Janmabhoomi case an order for an ASI survey was passed after recording oral evidence of the parties concerned. But, in the present case the oral evidence is not recorded yet, he said.
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