Jamaat-E-Islami Hind asks govt to uphold Places of Worship Act to protect Gyanvapi Masjid

August 4, 2023

New Delhi, 4th Aug 2023: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has asked the government to uphold the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 to protect the Gyanvapi Masjid.

In a statement, JIH Vice-President Malik Mohtasim Khan today expressed extreme concern about the events unfolding in the Gyanvapi Masjid case in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Expressing fear that there may be a repetition of what happened to Babri Masjid in 1992, the JIH Vice-President cautioned that the decision by the Allahabad High Court to reject the challenge brought by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee against the Varanasi District Judge’s order of 21st July 2023, might lead to unforeseen circumstances leading to damaging the Masjid premises and some of its internal structures.

Mr Malik said, “the Advocate General representing the State of Uttar Pradesh’s defence of the Varanasi Court’s order that it was only meant to ascertain the truth and should not create any dispute between the plaintiff and the defendant cannot be taken seriously. His assurance that there would not be any law and order issues regardless of the court’s directions has to be taken with a pinch of salt given the track record and political positioning of the Uttar Pradesh government regarding issues concerning the welfare of its Muslim population.”

“Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is of the considered view that courts should not entertain petitions about demands for a survey of Gyanvapi and other mosques when there is a clear-cut law in the statute viz. the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits altering the character of religious places,” Mr. Malik added.

The JIH Vice-President has demanded the Union Home Ministry to urgently come out with a statement and uphold the Places of Worship Act 1991. The act states that a mosque, temple, church, or any place of public worship in existence on August 15, 1947, will retain the same religious character that it had on that day – irrespective of its history – and cannot be changed by the courts or the government.

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