cleaning of wazukhana where Shivling was found

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an application of Hindu women petitioners seeking direction for cleaning the entire area of ‘wazukhana’ of Gyanvapi mosque where the alleged ‘Shivling’ was found and maintaining hygienic condition.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said the area of ‘wazukhana’ shall be cleaned under the supervision of district administration Varanasi, having regard to the previous orders of the apex court.
Gyanvapi mosque management committee said it supports cleaning of the water tank, which has remained sealed on apex court’s orders for nearly two years.

‘Wazukhana’ is the reservoir where devotees perform ablutions before offering namaz.

The application said fishes in the water tank died between December 12 to 25, 2023 and due to the same, there is a putrid smell emitting from the tank.

“Since there exists Shivlingam which is sacred to Hindus and should be kept away from all dirt, grime, dead animals, etc. and must be in clean condition, is currently in the midst of dead fish which is hurtful to the sentiments to the devotees of Lord Shiva,” the application stated.

The application filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain said fishes in the water tank have died and due to the same, there is a putrid smell emitting from the tank.

It is further submitted that the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid which manages the mosque in the Gyanvapi complex is responsible for the condition of fish due to which they have died.

“In case, the fishes would had been transferred as requested by District Magistrate, Varanasi the present unfortunate situation would have not occurred,” the application said while seeking direction to clean ‘wazukhana’.

The area of ‘wazukhana’ was sealed in 2022 on a Supreme Court order after the discovery of what was said to be a ‘Shivling’.

A structure — claimed to be a “Shivling” by the Hindu side and a “fountain” by the Muslim side — was found in the mosque premises on May 16, 2022, during a court-mandated survey of the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The ‘Wazu’ area of the Gyanvapi mosque is the centre of the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute between Hindus and Muslim parties in the case since the Hindu parties claim that ‘Shivling’ has been found in that spot, however, the Muslim side disputed the same and said that it is only a water fountain. (Inputs from ANI)

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