Varanasi Mosque Case judge: “Every time I stepped out, my wife is worried”

13 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

Ravi Kumar Diwakar, a civil judge in Varanasi's lower courts' senior division, stated in his ruling: "A fearful atmosphere has been created. My family was concerned for their and my safety because ...

In his ruling, the Varanasi judge who allowed recording inside the Gyanvapi mosque earlier this afternoon stated that his family was extremely concerned for his safety since “an regular civil matter has been transformed into an extraordinary one.”

Ravi Kumar Diwakar, a civil judge in Varanasi’s lower courts’ senior division, wrote in his ruling: “An atmosphere of fear has been created. Such fear that my family was worried about their and my safety. Whenever I was stepping out of my house, my wife used to worry about my security. There was some reports in the media that I would visit the survey site but my mother told me not to do it as she was worried about my safety”.

The court stated in its decision that videography is permitted in all areas of the Gyanvapi mosque, as requested by the petitioners.

Following petitions from five Hindu women seeking year-long access to a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Mosque complex, the court ordered an inspection in April.

Once a year, the place is available for prayers. The women requested permission to pray to additional “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex” on a regular basis.

The authorities were already ordered to produce a report by May 10 by the local court. The survey, which began last Friday, was halted due to a disagreement concerning videography within the mosque.

The court ordered the survey to be completed by May 17 in an order issued on Thursday.

The court judgement, according to Abhay Nath Yadav, lawyer for the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, is illegitimate and would be challenged soon.