'Significant victory': VHP America welcomes Gyanvapi court order

A priest assigned by the Kashi Vishwanath temple performed prayers at the sacred cellar inside the Gyanvapi mosque.

VHP America welcomes historic Gyanvapi court order / VHP website

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of America has expressed appreciation for the landmark ruling by the Varanasi district court to grant Hindus rights to worship at the sacred 'Vyas ka Tekhna' within the Gyanvapi mosque complex. 

Following the court's directives, a priest designated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple performed prayers at the sacred cellar inside the Gyanvapi mosque. 

The historic ruling restores the rights that were unlawfully taken from Hindus in November 1993, the VHP of America said in a statement, underlining that the case is "fundamentally about property rights and not a conflict against any minority group."

Several surveys conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) previously have unearthed certain pieces of evidence that the Gyanvapi mosque was constructed following the demolition of a Hindu temple, the Hindu organization noted in the statement.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, called it a "significant victory," highlighting the commitment of Hindus to fight for their rights in the court of law. 

Lauding the court for recognizing the significance of the evidence, the VHP said the "correct decision" was made. However, while the decision has been accepted by the Hindu community, the Muslim side plans to challenge the verdict in the high court.

Following District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha's order, the family of a priest will have the right to worship deities in the disputed area. 

“District Magistrate, Varanasi is directed to get puja, raga-bhog performed of idols located in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi Mosque. This would be done through a priest nominated by Kashi Vishwanath Trust Board and plaintiff. Make proper arrangements of iron fencing etc. in 7 days for the same,” the court order read, as reported by The Hindu.

Initiated in August 2023, the ASI survey confirmed the presence of a Hindu temple before the construction of the Gyanvapi mosque. In its report submitted to the Varanasi court, the  ASI presented compelling evidence of the temple's existence and its destruction in the 17th century.