Protect 'Shivling' Don't stop namaz

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SC rules in Gyanvapi case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Varanasi District Magistrate to protect the area where the 'Shivling' was found without impeding the right of Muslims to enter and worship. The court will hear the matter again on May 19.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by the Committee of Management of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, Varanasi, challenging the videography survey ordered by a local court of the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal in the complex.

Meanwhile, the Varanasi court on Tuesday removed advocate-Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra from his post. Mishra was responsible for the filming and carrying out the survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex. The court also granted two days extension for the submission of the committee's survey report.

Earlier on Monday, the Varanasi court directed the district administration to seal the spot in the mosque complex where a Shivling was claimed to have been found during the videography survey. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, hearing a plea by five women seeking permission for daily prayers at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal on the outer wall of the mosque complex, said, "District Magistrate, Varanasi, is directed to immediately seal the place where the Shivling has been found. No person should be allowed to enter the place which will be sealed."

"The responsibility for the security and custodianship of the place which will be sealed will be considered personally of Varanasi district magistrate, Varanasi police commissioner and the CRPF commandant, Varanasi," the judge said.

The Muslim body contends that it is contrary to provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991. The Hindu Sena President has filed an intervention in the Supreme Court, seeking a dismissal of the appeal.

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