Amid the ongoing Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi hearings, on Wednesday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said that facts are coming out and it’s time to put them in the right perspective, in front of the public. On the other hand, the Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has appealed to all people, especially the Muslim community, to avoid partaking in any public demonstrations.
At the Devrishi Narad Patrakar Samman Samaroh, an event for facilitating journalists, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh (all-India publicity in-charge) Sunil Ambekar said, “Right now the issue of Gyanvapi is going on. There are some facts which are coming out in the open. I believe we should let facts come out in the open. In any case, truth always finds a way to come out. How long can you hide it? I believe the time has come to put historical facts in the right perspective before society.”
Subsequently, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sanjeev Balyan said, “Last week I was in Varanasi when this issue of Gyanvapi was going on. I became emotional. But I became more overwhelmed when a journalist told me that Nandi had been waiting centuries for Lord Shiva. My eyes welled up.” The minister of state was invited to be the chief guest at the event.
On the same day, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Mahmood Madani said in a statement that some “mischievous elements and biased media” are trying to create a conflict by fanning religious emotions. He added that all people of India, especially Indian Muslims, should avoid hitting the streets over the Gyanvapi issue, and urged people to avoid all kinds of public demonstrations regarding the matter.
The statement added that the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (management committee) is taking the issue up in various courts, and that it will fight vigorously till the end. They also requested other organisations in India to directly interfere in this case, in any courts. Additionally, the statement urged the Ulema, scholars, speakers and TV debaters to refrain from participating in debates and discussions regarding this case. They reasoned that the case is subjudice, and therefore, provocative debates and social media speeches will not be in the interest of the country.
Notably, both the BJP and RSS leadership have given strict orders to their units across India to refrain from expressing any triumphalism over the verdict.
Earlier this week, the three-day court-ordered and monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple/Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi ended. Subsequently, Sohan Lal Arya, the Hindu petitioner who accompanied the court commission for the survey, claimed that a shivling had been found. The Varanasi court issued an order to District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, “to seal the area where the Shivling was found and to bar people from going to the place”. The court also limited the number of Muslims who can enter the mosque to 20.
A day after the Varanasi court order, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “We are hopeful the Supreme Court will do complete justice as grave procedural unfairness happened.” He referred to the court’s order and said, “Commissioner didn’t give the report to lower court judge, petitioner moved an application and before a notice was given to Muslim side, the judge passed an order to protect area and limiting namazis to 20.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court, after hearing an appeal by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid committee, also directed the Varanasi district magistrate to secure the area where a shivling is claimed to have been found. The apex court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha added that this should not restrict access or cause hindrance to Muslims coming to offer namaz at the mosque. Furthermore, the Supreme court asked the Hindu petitioners and the Uttar Pradesh government to file a response within two days, and announced that the next hearing will be on May 19.
Advocate Vishnu Jain representing Hindu petitioners, on Wednesday, indicated that they will ask for an extension from the Varanasi court as this matter is being presented before the SC, saying that “simultaneously two proceedings can’t go on”. He added that they will also ask for more time in the apex court as there have been “additional developments” in the meantime that need to be added to the court records.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court hearing on this case was underway, but the court adjourned soon after and deferred it until tomorrow, as the Hindu petitioners requested more time. They cited that Senior Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, also representing the Hindu petitioners, had been discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, and was not present on the last date of the hearing in the Varanasi court. In the meantime, the apex court also directed the Varanasi court to not take action on this case until the matter is heard in front of the higher bench.