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Law

Krishna Janmabhoomi Case: Allahabad HC Orders Survey of Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura

The survey of the 17th-century mosque is to ascertain the claims being made by Hindutva groups that the mosque was built adjacent to the Krishna Janmasthal (believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna) after demolishing Katra Keshav Dev Temple.

New Delhi: The Allahabad high court has given its nod for the survey of Shahi Idgah Mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura by a court-appointed and monitored advocate commissioner in response to petitions filed by Hindutva outfits which claim that the mosque stands on the place where Lord Krishna was born.

“The court has allowed our plea for appointment of a commission to survey the site. More details will be out when the order is uploaded,” the Indian Express quoted Ranjana Agnihotri, counsel for petitioners, as saying.

Like the survey of Gyanvapi mosque, the survey of the 17th-century mosque is to ascertain the claims being made by Hindutva groups that the mosque was built adjacent to the Krishna Janmasthal (believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna) after demolishing Katra Keshav Dev Temple. The temple side claims that the entire tract of contested land – about 13.37 acres – belongs to it and the mosque should be removed from the site. According to the petitioners, Katra Keshav Dev Temple was demolished by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, another advocate for the petitioners, said, “The court has allowed our demand that an advocate commissioner must be appointed. Who will be the advocate commissioner, what will the modalities be, and whether it will be a three-member committee? All these things will be decided on December 18.”

He further said, “We demanded that in the Shahi Idgah mosque, there are lots of signs and symbols, and to know the actual factual position, an actual advocate commissioner is required. The court has allowed our application.”

A total of 18 separate pleas were filed in various courts of Mathura seeking full ownership of the 13.37-acre land to the temple management. The high court had clubbed all pleas and transferred them to itself for adjudicating the matter.

In support of their claims, these groups say that there are carvings of lotuses on some walls of the mosque, as well as shapes supposedly resembling Sheshnag – the snake demigod in Hindu mythology. This, they say, proves their point that the mosque was indeed built after demolishing the temple, NDTV reported.

The mosque side had earlier moved the high court praying for the quashing of petitions citing the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which maintains the religious status of any place of worship as it was on August 15, 1947.

In fact, in 1968, both the temple side (Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan) and the mosque side (Shahi Masjid Idgah Trust) inked an agreement to the effect that 10.9 acres from the total 13.37 acres would be of the temple’s property while 2.5 acres would belong to the mosque.

The Muslim side is expected to challenge the high court’s ruling in the Supreme Court.