Gyanvapi mosque could meet the same fate as Babri, says feared Varanasi Muslims

VARANASI: Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor, an ambitious project of PM Modi making Varanasi Muslims fear about the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque.

A raised platform, part of a boundary wall separating the Gyanvapi mosque and the Vishwanath Temple was demolished by a government contractor as part of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor project leading to protests by Muslims.

Fearing communal flare-up, the district administration restored the structure around the 17th century mosque.

“As a visibly angry mob paced by, the demolition was halted and the district administration had to rebuild the platform,” said Islahi, caretaker of mosque for 30 years.

But if there is a conflict, then there is worry too. Gyanvapi Masjid’s administrative body, Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid (AIM), Varanasi joint secretary S M Yaseen speaking to Times Of India said, “Gyanvapi mosque could meet the same fate as Babri.”

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“I remember the chant ‘Ayodhya to ek jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura abhi baaki hai (Ayodhya was just a glimpse, Kashi and Mathura now remain)’ which became popular among kar sewaks after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.”

Hundreds of commercial and residential buildings have beem demolished to make way for the promenade resulting in the danger of displacement of hundreds of families.

In fact, for the last few months, the program to expand the temple courtyard is being run for constructing the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor and a large number of small temples, commonly housed inside residential complexes were allegedly get demolish.

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Under this expansion, a grand promenade is to be constructed, which will connect the centuries-old Vishwanath temple and the sacred Ganges river directly to each other. After the construction of this promenade, people coming to see this ancient temple of Kashi can go straight to the Ganges River.

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