Plaintiff in one of Gyanvapi cases dies

  • | Monday | 11th December, 2023

VARANASI: Harihar Pandey (77), who was one of three plaintiffs in the 1991 civil suit (no.610/2991) seeking removal of the Gyanvapi mosque from the Adi Vishweshwar temple land, died on Sunday following prolonged illness.Pandeys son Karnshankar Pandey said that his fathers condition had deteriorated about 15 days ago due to infections. "He had been hospitalised and he died during the course of treatment," he said.Two other plaintiffs in the case, Somnath Vyas and Prof Ramrang Sharma, have already died.This case is being contested by advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi as the next friend of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar and its disposal is pending before the Allahabad high court.On October 15, 1991, a petition was filed before the Varanasi civil judge on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar (Lord Shiva) and three others, including Harihar Pandey. It demanded the restoration of Gyanvapi land to the adjacent KV temple. It also sought removal of Muslims from the complex, and demolition of the mosque.On July 17, 1997, the civil court said that the suit was not maintainable under the Places of Worship Act, 1991. Both the temple and mosque sides filed several revision petitions before district court.On Sept 28, 1998, the district judge merged all the pleas and ordered the civil court to adjudicate the dispute afresh after considering all evidence. However, on October 13 that year, the high court stayed the district court order and the matter was stashed in a cold bag until a fresh case was filed in the civil court by Rastogi as the next friend of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar on October 19, 2019.

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