Controversies, legal battles around Gyanvapi Mosque, Mathura’s Eidgah evoke memories of Babri Case: Dr. SQR Ilyas

January 11, 2024

NEW DELHI—All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) spokesperson Dr. Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, who is also a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Central Advisory Council, has expressed concerns about the unfolding events and ongoing legal battles surrounding the historic Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Mathura’s Eidgah.

In a speech delivered at the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind headquarters here last week on ‘Survey of Kashi and Mathura mosques – an analysis,” Dr. Ilyas drew parallels between the ongoing legal disputes surrounding the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Mathura’s Eidgah, and the Babri Masjid case. He noted that the cases are being filed in the same way, with similar arguments being made by both sides. He also pointed out that the Supreme Court has refused to stay the proceedings in both cases, even though the 1991 Places of Worship Act prohibits the alteration of the status of religious places as they existed on August 15, 1947.

Giving a striking resemblance to the current cases of Mathura’s Eidgah and Kashi’s Gyanvapi Mosque with the Babri Masjid case, Dr. Ilyas said, “The way cases are filed in lower courts, the grounds on which they are built, then they are challenged in the High Court, and then the Supreme Court, where reference to the 1991 Places of Worship Act is made. Yet, the Supreme Court refuses to grant a stay on it, claiming it’s merely attempting to ascertain the earlier status of the mosques. The court argues that the current status of the mosque or temple isn’t being altered.”

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