And so it begins. The saga of threats and deaths; of intimidation and harassment. All for merely demanding their rights to worship and practice their religion without fear. Hindus are beginning to be targeted for daring to seek the removal of the Gyanvapi Mosque, which was built by the Mughal tyrant Aurungzeb after destroying the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Harihar Pandey, one of three litigants who filed a case in a civil court in 1991 seeking permission to offer Hindu prayers at the Gyanvapi mosque, has been threatened by unknown fanatics for his role in driving the cause of the Kashi temple forward without fear.
Pandey said on Thursday that he received a call from an unknown number wherein a person threatened him saying that even though he had won the case he would not be able to get a survey done by the ASI and would face serious consequences. Following the threat to his life, Harihar Pandey approached the police, who have now provided two officials as a security cover to the litigant. Assistant commissioner of police, Dashshwamedh, Awadhesh Pandey said a probe was being conducted and two policemen were deployed for the complainant’s personal security. The mobile number from which the call was made was being traced, he said.
According to the Hindustan Times, Pandey, along with Sonmantha Vyas and Rangnath Sharma is a petitioner in the case. The three had filed the case on behalf of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar. On Thursday, a Varanasi court had given the go-ahead to surveys and excavations to be conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in and around the Gyanvapi Mosque and the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir. The decision to allow an ASI survey in Kashi came as a historic one, which would go a long way in helping Hindus reclaim the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in its entirety.
Members of a community are obviously riled up, and are now resorting to threatening Hindus for fighting for their rights. It must be remembered that the ASI surveys had played an instrumental role in tilting the scales in the favour of Hindus in the Ram Janmabhoomi case. As such, the significance of such surveys has hardly been given a miss by Islamists, who are now threatening Hindus who ensured that the ASI is roped in to conduct surveys in Kashi as well.
Unlike in Ayodhya, the mosque in Kashi visibly infringes upon what appears to be a temple-like structure. Although the Ram Janmabhoomi victory was a very difficult one for Hindus, the reclamation of Kashi Vishwanath, or in the immediate future, at least proving the fact that the Gyanvapi Mosque infringes upon Hindu temple land will not be extraordinarily tedious.