Friday, April 19, 2024

Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah dispute: Mathura court orders survey of site

A local court in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the Shahi Idgah Mosque, alleged to be built on the Krishna Janmabhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Krishna, after January 2. 

The court of Civil Judge Senior Division (III) Sonika Verma directed the ASI to submit its report, along with the maps, before the next date of hearing in the matter, which is January 20.

The orders were passed on a lawsuit filed by Vishnu Gupta, national president of right wing outfit Hindu Sena.

The petition demanded survey of Shahi Idgah, in line with the one conducted in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Mosque Complex, where a ‘Shivling’ was said to be found during the survey.

Many petitions have been filed by Hindu outfits seeking removal of the 17th century Shahi Idgah Masjid from the 13.37-acre premises of Katra Keshav Dev temple, claiming that the Mosque was built on the birthplace of Lord Krishna on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1669-70.

Appearing for Gupta, Advocate Shailesh Dubey contended that on December 8, his Delhi-based client, along with vice-president of Hindu Sena, Surjit Singh Yadav, had made this claim in the court. 
Dubey said that Gupta presented before the court the entire history from the birth of Lord Krishna till the construction of the temple.

In addition to the Mosque’s alleged Hindu architecture, the petitioners asserted that motifs from temples such as Om, Swastika, and lotus were found at the site. The Hindu Sena chief further demanded cancellation of the agreement signed between Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh vs Shahi Idgah in 1968, calling it illegal.

Earlier on September 30, 2020, a civil court in Mathura had dismissed the plea seeking removal of the Idgah mosque allegedly built over the birthplace of Lord Krishna.  

The court of Civil Judge Division Chhaya Sharma in Mathura disposed of the petition citing the bar under the Places of Worship (Special Provision) Act.

As per the act, the religious nature of a place of worship cannot be altered from what was its religious character at the time of independence. Section 4 of the Act said that no court can admit any plea to change the religious character of a place of worship after the Act was enacted. 

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Mathura court to expeditiously decide on an application seeking Scientific Investigation of Shahi Eidgah and Jahanara’s Masque in connection with a 2021 suit (Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and others vs UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and others).


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