Midnight puja, aarti at Gyanvapi after court ruling, alert in Uttar Pradesh

Religious rituals were performed on the Gyanvapi premises on Thursday, at midnight, following a Varanasi court's ruling allowing a priest to perform midnight prayers at the complex.
Puja and aarti at performed at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
Puja and aarti at performed at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.Anjali Raj / jaano junction

Hours after the Varanasi district court on Wednesday ruled that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in a cellar of the Gyanvapi Masjid, religious ceremonies were performed on the Gyanvapi premises at midnight.

According to the details, the preparations for the puja had begun soon after the court's order, and the aarti on the premises was performed under heavy security.

The development was confirmed by Supreme Court lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, who, on X wrote, "The SG has complied with the orders of the court. Shayan arti done by a pujari of KVM Trust after putting up idols. An Akhand Jyoti started in front of them. Daily Arti of all above deities- Morning Mangla Arti, Bhog Arti, evening arti, late sunset evening arti, Shayan arti."

A path towards the 'Tekhana', where the grand Nandi is seated right in front of the Vishwanath Temple, was opened at nearly 12.00 am on Thursday. The idols that were found during the Gyanvapi premises survey were placed and a prayer was conducted, followed by the offerings of the prasad. A statue of Vishnu, a Ganesh idol, two statues of Hanuman, and a stone with Ram written on it have been kept there.

Beginning Thursday, authorities at the Gyanvapi complex would undertake all rituals of worship, including Shayan Aarti and Mangal Aarti, along with the recitation of prayers.

The offerings from the worship were handed over to the Kashi Vishwanath Trust by the administration.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Police was on alert as the authorities were asked to conduct patrolling to avoid any untoward incidents. They were also asked to monitor social media for any rumours being circulated.

Following the court ruling, advocate Sohan Lal Arya told reporters that arrangements have been made but Vyas Ka Tekhana has not been opened for the devotees yet. The devotees were also heard chanting 'Har-Har Mahadev'.

Commenting on the ruling, chairman of Kashi Vishwanath Trust Nagendra Pandey said, "The court has ordered the opening and subsequent worship at the 'tehkhana' which was closed for years. No side should have any issues now. As per the court's orders, we will do all necessary procedures. We have been given the right to worship our deity. We have adequate priests and will start the 'pooja' soon... "

In its ruling, the court said the prayers would be conducted -- apparently at regular intervals -- by a "pujari" nominated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust and the petitioner who had claimed his grandfather offered puja at the cellar up to December 1993.

While the VHP welcomed the order, Muslim side counsel Mumtaz Ahmed said they would challenge it in the high court. The judge has said the plaintiffs can submit their objections before the court on February 8.

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Puja and aarti at performed at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

Wednesday's order was delivered on the plea of Shailendra Kumar Pathak who claimed that his maternal grandfather, priest Somnath Vyas, offered prayers till December 1993, advocate Yadav said.

Source: India Today

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