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Krishna Janmabhoomi: Now plea seeks ban on loudspeaker at Shahi Idgah

After a district court admitted a plea against the Idgah, a batch of related petitions have sprung up with demands ranging from permission to conduct prayers to the latest demanding removal of the loudspeaker

Sabrangindia 26 May 2022

Mathura Court
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

On May 26, a new application was moved before a Mathura court demanding the removal of the loudspeaker of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Katra Keshav Dev temple. The temple-mosque complex is at the heart of a dispute where a suit demanding removal of the mosque, and that the entire land be returned to the temple authorities is pending before the district court.

Readers would recall that on May 19, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had restored the petition that was originally filed in September 2020 and had been dismissed by a lower court. But even before that could happen, a deluge of related applications began.

On May 13, a petitioner named Manish Yadav moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura demanding that an Advocate Commissioner be appointed to carry out an inspection of the Shahi Idgah.

On May 17, just hours after the lawyer of the Hindu petitioners in the Gyanvapi dispute in Varanasi claimed a “Shivling” had been discovered in the WazuKhana (ablution tank of the mosque), and the court of Varanasi Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar ordered the area to be sealed, two advocates moved a Mathura court seeking similar directions to seal the Shahi Idgah mosque. The petitioners, advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, in their application before the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, claim that this is necessary to ensure that the religious character of the place remains unchanged.

They have also asked that the deployment of security personnel at the mosque be stepped up to prevent any movement. The applicants have sought directions to the District Magistrate as well as the Superintendent of Police, along with the CRPF Commandment, to seal the premises and preserve the Hindu religious symbols such as Swastika, lotus flower, Kalash etc.

It is noteworthy that Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, who heads the Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Andolan Samiti (KJMAS) and is also the president of Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nyas, had on November 23, 2021, moved an application before the District Magistrate of Mathura demanding that namaaz be stopped at the Shahi Idgah that is located adjacent to a Krishna Temple.

Meanwhile, another application was filed before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Chaudhary, by next friends of the deity and devotees, appealing for permission to be granted to Hindus to conduct “darshan, pooja and other rituals” at the mosque site in accordance with Vedic Sanatan Dharma.

Then, Dinesh Kaushik, the National Treasurer of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, filed an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura seeking permission to consecrate an idol of deity Laddo Gopal inside the Shahi Idgah mosque and perform traditional Hindu prayers there.

Then on May 23, the same Dinesh Kaushik filed another application seeking permission to perform “purification rituals” at the sanctum sanctorum of the Katra Keshav Dev temple using water from the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. He claimed such purification was essential as the existence of theIdgah was hurting his religious sentiments.

The latest application demanding the removal of the loudspeaker has also been moved by Kaushik. He claimed that the use of the loudspeaker for Azaan was infringing upon his rights as a Sanatani Hindu.

Brief background of the case

In their civil suit filed in September 2020, the petitioners i.e the deity Baghwan Sri Krishna Virajman through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of the deity) and devotees, have claimed, “This suit is being filed for removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf on land Khewat No.255 (Two Hundred Fifty Five) at Katra Keshav Dev city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virajman.”  

Explaining the rationale behind the suit, the plaintiffs have stated, “The present suit is being filed by and on behalf of deity Plaintiff Nos.1 (One) and 2 (Two) alongwith devotees to ensure that Dharshan, Pooja, rituals according to Vedic Sanatan Dharma, faith, belief, usages, traditions and customs guaranteed under Article 25 (Twenty Five) of the Constitution of India are performed at the actual birth place and at any part of 13.37 (Thirteen Point Thirty Seven) Acers land of Katra Keshav Dev the Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah and their men, workers, attorneys and every person working under them are restrained from entering into the premises of the property in question and they be directed to remove the construction illegally raised by them without authority of law at the property in question.”

The primary contention was that the Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh that looked after the Katra Keshav Dev temple property had allegedly entered into an illegal compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah in 1968 by way of which a huge chunk of land was given to the Idgah including the spot where the deity was born. The plaintiffs had submitted, “The original karagari.e birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by Committee of Management i.e Trust Masjid Idgah.” It insisted that the truth would be revealed if an excavation were to be conducted.

Communally charged language

The language of the petition itself was deeply communal, as at one point it said, “Under Hindu Law prevalent in India from thousands of years it is well recognized that the property once vested in the deity shall continue to be the deity’s property and property vested in the deity is never destroyed or lost and it can be regained and re-established whenever it is freed, found or recovered from the clutches of invaders, ultras or hoodlums. The Privy Council, High Courts and the Hon’ble Supreme Court in catena of decisions have endorsed the above proposition of law.”

It further says, “It is matter of fact and history that Aurangzeb ruled over the country from 31.07.1658 (Thirty One Seven Sixteen Fifty Eight) to 3.03.1707 (Three Three Seventeen Zero Seven) AD and he being staunch follower of Islam had issued orders for demolition of large number of Hindu religious places and temples including the temple standing at the birth place of Lord Shree Krishna at Katra Keshav Dev, Mathura in the year 1669-70 (Sixteen Sixty Nine- Seventy) AD. The army of Aurangzeb partly succeeded to demolish Keshav Dev Temple and a construction was forcibly raised showing the might of power and said construction was named as Idgah Mosque.” It then goes on to quote an official order by Aurangzeb himself.

Lower court dismisses plea, petitioners appeal against order

On September 30, 2020, a civil court in Mathura dismissed the petition to remove the Shahi Idgah adjacent to a Krishna temple in the city. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Chhaya Sharma refused to entertain the plea citing section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Section 4 (1) of this Act says, “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.”

However, the plaintiffs moved the district court against this on October 12 citing Article 25 of the Constitution that deals with “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” and says, “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”

The Appellants submitted, “It is the right and duty of worshipers to make every endeavour to bring back the lost property of the deity and to take every step for the safety and proper management of the temple and the deity’s property.”

The Petitioners have sought ownership of the entire property spread across 13.37 acres, and cancellation of the agreement that led to the transfer of land in 1968.

Meanwhile, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Shahi Idgah committee argued that the petitioner was neither an office bearer of the Temple trust, nor a descendent of the Krishna Janmasthan.

On May 7, after hearing both parties, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had reserved its order. On May 19, the court delivered its order to restore the petition, following which new applications are being filed regularly.

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court restores suit demanding removal of Shahi Idgah
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Court reserves orders on whether petition against Shahi Idgah is maintainable
Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Mathura district court admits plea against Shahi Idgah
Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Appeal against Mathura Court order
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah
And so it begins: Civil suit filed to remove Idgah next to Krishna temple in Mathura

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Now plea seeks ban on loudspeaker at Shahi Idgah

After a district court admitted a plea against the Idgah, a batch of related petitions have sprung up with demands ranging from permission to conduct prayers to the latest demanding removal of the loudspeaker

Mathura Court
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

On May 26, a new application was moved before a Mathura court demanding the removal of the loudspeaker of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Katra Keshav Dev temple. The temple-mosque complex is at the heart of a dispute where a suit demanding removal of the mosque, and that the entire land be returned to the temple authorities is pending before the district court.

Readers would recall that on May 19, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had restored the petition that was originally filed in September 2020 and had been dismissed by a lower court. But even before that could happen, a deluge of related applications began.

On May 13, a petitioner named Manish Yadav moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura demanding that an Advocate Commissioner be appointed to carry out an inspection of the Shahi Idgah.

On May 17, just hours after the lawyer of the Hindu petitioners in the Gyanvapi dispute in Varanasi claimed a “Shivling” had been discovered in the WazuKhana (ablution tank of the mosque), and the court of Varanasi Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar ordered the area to be sealed, two advocates moved a Mathura court seeking similar directions to seal the Shahi Idgah mosque. The petitioners, advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, in their application before the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, claim that this is necessary to ensure that the religious character of the place remains unchanged.

They have also asked that the deployment of security personnel at the mosque be stepped up to prevent any movement. The applicants have sought directions to the District Magistrate as well as the Superintendent of Police, along with the CRPF Commandment, to seal the premises and preserve the Hindu religious symbols such as Swastika, lotus flower, Kalash etc.

It is noteworthy that Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, who heads the Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Andolan Samiti (KJMAS) and is also the president of Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nyas, had on November 23, 2021, moved an application before the District Magistrate of Mathura demanding that namaaz be stopped at the Shahi Idgah that is located adjacent to a Krishna Temple.

Meanwhile, another application was filed before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Chaudhary, by next friends of the deity and devotees, appealing for permission to be granted to Hindus to conduct “darshan, pooja and other rituals” at the mosque site in accordance with Vedic Sanatan Dharma.

Then, Dinesh Kaushik, the National Treasurer of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, filed an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura seeking permission to consecrate an idol of deity Laddo Gopal inside the Shahi Idgah mosque and perform traditional Hindu prayers there.

Then on May 23, the same Dinesh Kaushik filed another application seeking permission to perform “purification rituals” at the sanctum sanctorum of the Katra Keshav Dev temple using water from the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. He claimed such purification was essential as the existence of theIdgah was hurting his religious sentiments.

The latest application demanding the removal of the loudspeaker has also been moved by Kaushik. He claimed that the use of the loudspeaker for Azaan was infringing upon his rights as a Sanatani Hindu.

Brief background of the case

In their civil suit filed in September 2020, the petitioners i.e the deity Baghwan Sri Krishna Virajman through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of the deity) and devotees, have claimed, “This suit is being filed for removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf on land Khewat No.255 (Two Hundred Fifty Five) at Katra Keshav Dev city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virajman.”  

Explaining the rationale behind the suit, the plaintiffs have stated, “The present suit is being filed by and on behalf of deity Plaintiff Nos.1 (One) and 2 (Two) alongwith devotees to ensure that Dharshan, Pooja, rituals according to Vedic Sanatan Dharma, faith, belief, usages, traditions and customs guaranteed under Article 25 (Twenty Five) of the Constitution of India are performed at the actual birth place and at any part of 13.37 (Thirteen Point Thirty Seven) Acers land of Katra Keshav Dev the Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah and their men, workers, attorneys and every person working under them are restrained from entering into the premises of the property in question and they be directed to remove the construction illegally raised by them without authority of law at the property in question.”

The primary contention was that the Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh that looked after the Katra Keshav Dev temple property had allegedly entered into an illegal compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah in 1968 by way of which a huge chunk of land was given to the Idgah including the spot where the deity was born. The plaintiffs had submitted, “The original karagari.e birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by Committee of Management i.e Trust Masjid Idgah.” It insisted that the truth would be revealed if an excavation were to be conducted.

Communally charged language

The language of the petition itself was deeply communal, as at one point it said, “Under Hindu Law prevalent in India from thousands of years it is well recognized that the property once vested in the deity shall continue to be the deity’s property and property vested in the deity is never destroyed or lost and it can be regained and re-established whenever it is freed, found or recovered from the clutches of invaders, ultras or hoodlums. The Privy Council, High Courts and the Hon’ble Supreme Court in catena of decisions have endorsed the above proposition of law.”

It further says, “It is matter of fact and history that Aurangzeb ruled over the country from 31.07.1658 (Thirty One Seven Sixteen Fifty Eight) to 3.03.1707 (Three Three Seventeen Zero Seven) AD and he being staunch follower of Islam had issued orders for demolition of large number of Hindu religious places and temples including the temple standing at the birth place of Lord Shree Krishna at Katra Keshav Dev, Mathura in the year 1669-70 (Sixteen Sixty Nine- Seventy) AD. The army of Aurangzeb partly succeeded to demolish Keshav Dev Temple and a construction was forcibly raised showing the might of power and said construction was named as Idgah Mosque.” It then goes on to quote an official order by Aurangzeb himself.

Lower court dismisses plea, petitioners appeal against order

On September 30, 2020, a civil court in Mathura dismissed the petition to remove the Shahi Idgah adjacent to a Krishna temple in the city. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Chhaya Sharma refused to entertain the plea citing section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Section 4 (1) of this Act says, “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.”

However, the plaintiffs moved the district court against this on October 12 citing Article 25 of the Constitution that deals with “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” and says, “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”

The Appellants submitted, “It is the right and duty of worshipers to make every endeavour to bring back the lost property of the deity and to take every step for the safety and proper management of the temple and the deity’s property.”

The Petitioners have sought ownership of the entire property spread across 13.37 acres, and cancellation of the agreement that led to the transfer of land in 1968.

Meanwhile, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Shahi Idgah committee argued that the petitioner was neither an office bearer of the Temple trust, nor a descendent of the Krishna Janmasthan.

On May 7, after hearing both parties, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had reserved its order. On May 19, the court delivered its order to restore the petition, following which new applications are being filed regularly.

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court restores suit demanding removal of Shahi Idgah
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Court reserves orders on whether petition against Shahi Idgah is maintainable
Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Mathura district court admits plea against Shahi Idgah
Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Appeal against Mathura Court order
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah
And so it begins: Civil suit filed to remove Idgah next to Krishna temple in Mathura

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