Yogi Adityanath sparks controversy by referring to Gyanvapi as a mosque.

In a recent statement, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called on the Muslim society to propose a solution for a “historical mistake” in relation to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute. This comes as the Allahabad High Court is currently hearing a petition by the mosque committee, contesting a lower court’s order for an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey inside the mosque complex. The court is expected to deliver its ruling on this matter on August 3.

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During an interview with ANI Editor Smita Prakash, Chief Minister Adityanath expressed his belief that referring to Gyanvapi as a mosque could lead to disputes. He questioned the presence of a trishul (trident) inside a mosque, claiming it wasn’t placed there by them. Additionally, he pointed out the existence of a jyotirlinga and dev pratimas (idols) within the walls, which he believes indicates something significant. Adityanath suggested that the Muslim society should acknowledge the historical mistake and present a proposal for a resolution.

In response to the Chief Minister’s comments, Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), accused Adityanath of judicial overreach, noting that the Muslim side had already opposed the ASI survey in the Allahabad High Court, and the judgment was pending.

The Gyanvapi mosque gained attention in 2021 when a group of women sought permission from a Varanasi court to worship deities within the Gyanvapi complex, which is located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. During a video survey of the complex ordered by the court, an object was discovered that some claimed to be a shivling, while the mosque management committee argued it was part of a fountain in the ‘Wuzukhana’ (pool) used for pre-prayer hand and foot washing. The Supreme Court intervened, sealing off the pool to prevent further escalation.

Earlier this year, the Allahabad High Court dismissed the mosque committee’s petition challenging the maintainability of the request to worship Hindu deities inside the premises. Subsequently, the Varanasi district court ordered an ASI survey based on a separate petition filed by four of the five women who asserted that a scientific survey was the only way to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque was built after demolishing a Hindu temple.

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