The issue of Varanasi court ordering the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to get a comprehensive archaeological physical survey done of the disputed Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex was missing from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) meeting held in Haridwar on Friday (9 April).
Speaking to The Indian Express, VHP working president Alok Kumar said that no other issue will be taken up till Ramlala will be installed inside the garbhagriha for which the temple work will be completed by 2024.
“The order is to find out historical facts and the facts are known. As far as the VHP is concerned, we shall not take up any such matter before 2024. By that time, we expect to install Ramlala in his temple. Let us complete one task. We will consider it (the Kashi issue) only after that,” he said when asked about his view on the court order.
Reminding the VHP’s slogan that reverberated during Ram Mandir movement “Ayodhya toh bas jhanki hai, Kashi Mathura baki hai” (Ayodhya is just a preview, Kashi and Mathura are next in line), Alok Kumar said that they are presently focused on the jhanki (Ayodhya) and will not consider the issues of Kashi and Mathura till then.
The court order came on Thursday (8 April) on a petition filed by a local lawyer VS Rastogi who had demanded the restoration of the land entailing Gyanvapi Mosque to Hindus. The Gyanvapi Mosque management committee had opposed the petition.
The Gyanvapi Mosque, which adjoins the present Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1669 after demolishing a Hindu temple.
Hindus claim that the original Vishwanath Temple existed on the site of demolition. An application was filed by Hindus in the Varanasi district court in 1991 seeking ownership of the disputed site. The Muslim side is also a party in the case.
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