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Business News/ News / India/  Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi's Muslim body appeals to traders to shut shops in protest on Friday
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Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi's Muslim body appeals to traders to shut shops in protest on Friday

Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi's Muslim body protests against pooja performed in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi mosque a day after a district court allowed it.

Police personnel stand guard near the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi on Wednesday. (AFP)Premium
Police personnel stand guard near the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi on Wednesday. (AFP)

Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque complex, has appealed to the Muslim community to keep their shops closed on Friday in protest against pooja performed in the southern cellar of the mosque a day after a district court allowed it.

A large number of people usually gather to offer namaz on Friday in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

As a precautionary measure, security has been beefed up in the city given Friday namaz with the police force conducting flag marches in sensitive areas, said Pragya Pathak, Assistant Police Commissioner of the Dasheshmegh area.

Earlier in the day, prayers were performed in a cellar of Varanasi's Gyanvapi Masjid on Wednesday night after a district court ruling. This took place hours before the mosque committee approached the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on that order.

ALSO READ Devotees, priests begin prayers in Gyanvapi mosque complex; security tightened after Varanasi court order: Watch video

The Gyanvapi mosque management committee on Thursday approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing and challenging the district court order. However, the apex court asked the committee to move the Allahabad High Court, which it did later in the day.

The lower court on Wednesday afternoon ruled that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi Masjid, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Hindu litigants claim that an ancient temple was destroyed during Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s rule to build the mosque there. A survey conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India too has suggested this.

"Vyas ji's cellar was opened after 31 years for prayers," Kashi Vishwanath temple trust president Nagendra Pandey told PTI after the Wednesday night prayers. He said the cellar was opened around 10.30 pm.

"It was necessary to follow the court's orders, so the district administration made all arrangements with great promptness," Pandey said.

Reports said after cleaning the cellar, an 'aarti' of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh was performed.

With agency inputs. 

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Published: 01 Feb 2024, 09:55 PM IST
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