‘Atmosphere of fear…': UP Gyanvapi mosque case judge on family's safety concern

Gyanvapi masjid case: The court in Varanasi said the survey in the mosque would have to be completed by Tuesday. 
Varanasi: Security personnel keep vigil after security was beefed up following the court's verdict on the case of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex's survey, in Varanasi, (PTI)
Varanasi: Security personnel keep vigil after security was beefed up following the court's verdict on the case of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex's survey, in Varanasi, (PTI)
Published on May 13, 2022 06:08 AM IST
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By | Edited by Swati Bhasin

As a court in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Thursday ordered a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque to be completed by May 17, the judge in his comments - after three straight days of hearing - shared that his family was “always concerned” about his safety. "An atmosphere of fear was created by making this civil case into an extraordinary case,” Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar said as the order was being announced.

“The fear is so much that my family is always concerned about my safety and I am concerned about their safety. Concerns about safety are repeatedly expressed by my wife when I am out of the house,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The court was hearing the objections this week to the videography being carried out inside the mosque, next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The mosque management committee had also alleged bias by the survey official - Ajay Kumar Mishra.

While the request to replace him for the court-mandated survey was rejected, two new officials have been appointed to complete the task - Vishal Singh as special advocate commissioner and Ajay Pratap Singh as assistant advocate commissioner.

The judge also dismissed objections to the opening of the two closed basements in the mosque complex for the survey, according to the counsel representing the Hindu petitioners.

'The court had ordered the survey after a plea by five women petitioners Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others. They sought permission to perform daily worship of Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi whose idols are located on the outer wall of the mosque. They also sought a court order to stop anyone from damaging the idols.

Last week, however, the official had faced a hurdle in completing the task as objections were raised against the videography and there was slogan-shouting by both sides.

Ajay Kumar Mishra was chosen as the advocate commissioner on April 26 and the survey report was to be submitted initially by May 10.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022