No Question: UP Waqf Board to Challenge Gyanvapi Mosque Survey
Board Chairman Faruqi has said that no evidence of a pre-existing temple at the disputed site has been presented.
Hours after a Varanasi court asked the Archaeological Survey of India to carry out a survey to ascertain whether the religious structure next to the Gyanvapi Mosque was “superimposed, altered, added", the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board said on Thursday, 8 April, that it would move the Allahabad High Court against the order, reports news agency IANS.
Maintaining that the status of the Gyanvapi Mosque cannot be questioned, Board Chairman Zufar Faruqi said the Varanasi court’s order violated the Places of Worship Act, 1991.
“Our understanding is clear that this case is barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. The Places of Worship Act was upheld by a 5-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya judgment. The status of Gyanvapi Masjid is, as such, beyond question.”Zufar Faruqi said, in a statement.
He also added that no evidence of a pre-existing temple at the disputed site was presented in the case. The ASI survey in the Ram Mandir case, he said, was useless as it did not find any proof that the Babri Masjid was built after demolishing a temple.
Violates Places of Worship Act: Owaisi & Others
Several other leaders, activists and journalists questioned the legality of the move. AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi dubbed the legality of the order as doubtful, while adding that the “ASI has acted as a midwife to all kinds of Hindutva lies, no one expects objectivity from it.”
Putting out a series of tweets, Owaisi also said that the Prime Minister’s Office “must find the courage to intervene” and implement the Places of Worship act.
Congress MP and Spokesperson Manish Tewari asked whether a Senior Civil Judge can even give such a direction.
Similar views were echoed by lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan and senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan.
'Massive Development': BJP
However, some from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hailed the order as a massive development.
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