The Supreme Court on Friday extended its interim orders to protect the section of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex where Hindu litigants claimed to have found a “shivling” until further orders, Bar and Bench reported.
On May 17, the Supreme Court had directed that the spot be protected, but that Muslims should not be restricted from offering prayers at the mosque. The oval-shaped object, said to be an idol representing the Hindu deity Shiva, was found during a survey earlier in May ordered by a Varanasi court.
However, the lawyer of the mosque management committee claimed that the object is not a shivling, but a part of a stone fountain in the mosque’s wazu khana, or ablution tank.
The Supreme Court took up the matter on Friday after Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu litigants, approached the chief justice saying that the interim order was due to expire on November 12.
The case pertains to a plea filed by five women petitioners who claimed that an image of the Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the back of the western wall of the mosque. They have demanded that they be allowed to offer daily prayers and observe other Hindu rituals at the site.
On May 12, a Varanasi court had allowed a survey commission to carry…