The order by a Varanasi court paving the way for an Archaeological Survey of India to organise a probe mission at the site of the Gyanvapi Mosque and the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir has rattled Islamists, who are now running helter-skelter to somehow stop the ASI survey from taking place. Leading the fight against Hindu reclamation of temples is the Sunni Waqf Board of India, which, along with the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has filed a petition before the Allahabad High Court pleading it to stop the Varanasi court-ordered ASI survey, while also restraining the lower court from hearing and passing orders of the title dispute.
The desperation of the Sunni Waqf Board and the management committee of the Gyanvapi mosque is coming out of the closet due to their realisation that Hindus are just on the cusp of ascertaining that the Mosque infringes upon their place of worship, and was constructed after destroying a Hindu temple. Unlike in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, the infringement by the Mosque in Kashi is visible to the naked eye, which is all the more reason for the Muslim side to stop the ASI survey itself. Once the ASI survey proves what is already known to all, the Mosque’s existence would become a matter which would be challenged in the courts. Essentially, the floodgates would be opened for Hindus to ask for the eviction of the Mosque from their holy site.
Arguing that the HC had on March 15 reserved its judgment in the maintainability suit, the mosque committee and the Sunni Board pleaded with the HC to restrain the lower court from further proceedings. In the application, the mosque said the civil Judge was “behaving in the most arbitrary manner and is passing the orders against the spirit of Judicial discipline”. The application, while targeting the Varanasi court judge who gave the go-ahead to the ASI survey, said, “…it appears the learned civil Judge concerned is more interested to bypass all judicial disciplines and ethics as well as procedures of law and to establish himself as above the judicial hierarchy as defined under the Civil Procedure Code and had assumed himself as the only authority to decide the entire issue without looking into the legal impediment and bars.”
The proponents of a Mosque on the site have realised that their case is shaky at best, and armed with the findings of the ASI survey, Hindus would begin demanding their rights soon enough. As such, apart from trying to stall the ASI survey itself, some elements supportive of the Mosque have also taken to threatening the litigants who have challenged the Gyanvapi mosque’s existence at its current location. How it all pans out will only be revealed in the days to come, and eyes would definitely be on the Allahabad HC deciding on the petitions of the Sunni Waqf Board and the mosque management committee.