A local court in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura today ordered the survey of the Shahi Idgah Mosque, said to be built on the “Krishna Janmabhoomi”, or the birthplace of Lord Krishna, by the Archaeological Survey of India after January 2. The report will be submitted after January 20. The court passed the order on a lawsuit filed by Vishnu Gupta of the right wing outfit Hindu Sena, which said the survey will be similar to the one in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, where a “Shivling” was said to be found during a survey.
The court has fixed January 20 as the next date for hearing in the matter.
The lawsuit is one of the many by Hindu outfits demanding the removal of the 17th century Shahi Idgah Masjid from the Katra Keshav Dev temple, claiming the mosque has been built on the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
The Shahi Idgah mosque, Vishnu Gupta’s petition said, was built at the Krishna Janmabhoomi on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1669-70 in the 13.37-acre premises of Katra Keshav Dev temple.
Vishnu Gupta’s lawyer Shailesh Dubey said that on December 8, Delhi-based Mr Gupta, national president of Hindu Sena, and its vice-president Surjit Singh Yadav, had made this claim in the court that. “He presented before the court the entire history from the birth of Lord Krishna till the construction of the temple. He has also demanded cancellation of the agreement made between Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh vs Shahi Idgah in the year 1968, calling it illegal,” Mr Dubey said.
The civil court in Mathura had earlier dismissed the case saying it cannot be admitted under the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which maintains the religious status of any place of worship as it was on August 15, 1947.
The only exception to the law was the Ayodhya temple-mosque case involving the 16th century Babri mosque, razed in 1992 by Hindu activists who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple. The Supreme Court in 2019 handed over the mosque site to Hindus for a grand Ram temple and ordered alternative land for a mosque.
The Mathura court had earlier dismissed the Krishna Janmabhoomi suit, saying if it was registered, then many worshippers may approach the court in various cases.
Petitioners had then appealed against the order.
The petitioners argued in their suit that as devotees of Lord Krishna, they have a right to approach the court. They say they have the right to worship at the actual birthplace of Lord Krishna.
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha had earlier this month given a call for reciting Hanuman Chalisa inside the Shahi Masjid Idgah to mark the anniversary of the Babri Mosque demolition. One of the outfit’s leaders was arrested and seven or eight were detained.
In May this year, in Varanasi, the Hindu side had claimed that in a court-mandated three-day videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex, a shiva linga was found in the pond inside the mosque complex. “The pond was used for ablution (wuzu) purification rituals,” their lawyer had said, adding that water was drained from the pond and a shiva linga was allegedly found. The Varanasi District Magistrate had, however, said that no details of the survey of Gyanvapi mosque were disclosed by any member of the commission that undertook the survey. The court is still hearing several petitions filed by both parties after the survey.
After the Supreme Court’s landmark order in the long-drawn Ram Janmabhoomi case in November 2019, Hindu groups have raised the pitch on ‘reclaiming’ what they claim are ‘Hindu sites’ in Mathura and Kashi.