Varanasi court allows excavation by ASI at historic Gyanvapi Masjid amid Kashi temple row

coastaldigest.com news network
April 8, 2021

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Varanasi, Apr 8: In a controversial decision, a local court in Varanasi has ruled in favour of excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the adjacent Gyanvapi Masjid. The ASI is likely to set up a five-member team that will visit the campus soon. 

A petition was filed in December 2019 by advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in the court of civil judge. The petitioner requested for a survey of the entire Gyanvapi compound by the ASI. He had filed the petition as the 'next friend' of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar. In January 2020, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had filed an objection against the petition.

The petitioner had contended that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was built by Maharaja Vikramaditya about 2,050 years ago, but Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple in 1664 and used its remains to construct a mosque, which is known as Gyanvapi masjid, on a portion of the temple land. The petitioner requested the court to issue directions for the removal of the mosque from the temple land and give back its possession to the temple trust.

The first petition was filed in the Varanasi civil court in 1991 on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar seeking permission for worship in Gyanvapi.

The petition contended that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act was not applicable on the suit as the mosque was constructed over a partly demolished temple and many parts of the temple exist even today. In 1998, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee moved the high court contending that the mandir-masjid dispute could not be adjudicated by a civil court as it was barred by the law. The high court stayed the proceedings in the lower court which had continued for the past 22 years.

In February 2020, the petitioners approached the lower court again with a plea to resume the hearing as the high court had not extended the stay in the past six months. The Gyanvapi mosque shares a boundary wall with Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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coastaldigest.com news network
March 31,2021

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Ahmedabad, Mar 31: A special CBI court in Ahmedabad today discharged three cops accused in the extrajudicial killing of Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and two others in June 2004.

The three police officials — IPS officer GL Singhal, retired police officer Tarun Barot, and Anaju Chaudhari — filed the discharge applications on March 20. With the proceedings against the three dropped, the trial has practically come to an end, unless the CBI appeals against the same.

The CBI had not appealed against the discharge of four other officers earlier. This was cited as a ground for the discharge of the last three accused in the case. Special CBI judge VR Raval also noted that “prima facie, there was nothing on record to suggest” that Ishrat Jahan, and the four others who were killed, “were not terrorists.”

Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, who were said to be Pakistani nationals, were killed near Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch, then led by Vanzara. DCB had then claimed that the four were operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba out to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In its charge sheet filed in 2013, the CBI had named seven police officers – P P Pandey, Vanzara, N K Amin, J G Parmar, Singhal, Barot, and Chaudhary — as accused in the case. All the accused were charged with murder, abduction, and destruction of evidence among other charges.

Pandey, who was the joint commissioner of police (crime), Ahmedabad City, at the time of the fake encounter, was discharged in 2018. In May 2019, the special CBI court discharged Vanzara and Amin in the case, while Parmar was abated following his death in September 2020.

While discharging Amin and Vanzara, the special CBI court had largely relied on the fact that the state government had refused to grant sanction to prosecute the two (Vanzara and Amin) and it had not been opposed or challenged by the CBI. Ishrat’s mother, Shamima Kauser, however, had opposed the discharge pleas of Vanzara and Amin.

On March 20, the CBI special public prosecutor submitted a sealed report containing the state government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute the three, that is Singhal, Barot and Chaudhari. Taking a leaf from the discharge of the earlier accused, the three in their applications seeking that the charges against them be dropped on the two key grounds – parity with the discharge of other similarly placed accused officers, and also on the state government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute the accused officers. The discharge applications did not touch on the merits of the case.

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News Network
April 4,2021

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Hyderabad, Apr 4: Former India skipper and Hyderabad Cricket Association president, Mohammed Azharuddin on Sunday offered the state body's facilities to BCCI to host the upcoming IPL matches in case the games are shifted out of Covid-hit Mumbai.

The BCCI has decided to keep Indore and Hyderabad as stand by venues for the upcoming IPL beginning on April 9 following a massive surge in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, which is scheduled to host 10 games.

The move came after 10 groundsmen of the Wankhede Stadium and a few event managers had tested positive for the deadly virus.

"In these difficult times there is all the more reasons for us to stand by each other. Hyderabad Cricket Association would like to offer its facilities to @BCCI to ensure that IPL2021 is conducted in safe and secure venues," Azharuddin wrote on his twitter handle.

Mumbai reported 9,108 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and if things spiral out of control there could be a mini-lockdown.

However, a senior BCCI office-bearer on Saturday exuded confidence of hosting the games in Mumbai even if the situation worsens.

"Look, even if there is a lockdown, the teams are in bio-bubble and also it's a closed-door event. So we are still confident that IPL games in Mumbai will be held as per schedule with Delhi Capitals playing Chennai Super Kings on April 10 on the second day of the tournament," he had said.

"But Hyderabad and Indore are there on stand by in case the situation goes out of hand."

As of now, none of the teams currently in Mumbai -- Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings -- have access to the Wankhede Stadium.

The first match at the Wankhede is scheduled to be held on April 10, with last year's finalists Delhi Capitals taking on three-time champions Chennai Super Kings. 

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coastaldigest.com web desk
April 13,2021

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Natives of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh celebrate Ugadi on the Pratipada Tithi of Chaitra, Shukla Paksha. It marks the beginning of their New Year. This festival concurs with Sindhi people's Cheti Chand, Maharashtrians and Konkani's Gudi Padwa and Samvatsara. Read on to know the Ugadi 2021 date and significance.

Significance

Ugadi is traditionally referred to as Yugadi. It consists of two Sanskrit words- Yug meaning era and Adi meaning beginning). On this day, people rise early, take an oil bath and wear new clothes to symbolise a new beginning. 

The festivities begin with the decoration of the courtyard and the house with rangoli, flowers and torans made of mango leaves and most importantly, neem. 

Ugadi and Spring Season

Ugadi marks the beginning of spring or the Vasant Ritu. Farmers wait for the first showers after the New Year to plough and begin the next cycle of farming. The festival celebrates nature's regeneration. All trees begin to sprout tender leaves. The markets are flooded with different types of fruits. And most importantly Neem trees begin to blossom.

New Ventures on Ugadi

Ugadi is also considered to be the ideal time to start new ventures. Housewarming, starting of construction of new houses, important documents are signed, purchases are made on the day. The day symbolises hope. A day to start afresh. To forget all the bad of the previous year.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi which is distributed on the day is a unique dish with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. It comprises of jaggery, raw mango, tamarind, neem flowers, salt and green chilli. This is the first dish that people have on Ugadi day.

Ugadi Pachadi has an important symbolic meaning that life brings different experiences ranging from sweet to bitter. Therefore, each individual should learn to take the different experiences in one's stride and move ahead.

Instead of the Ugadi Pachadi, in some places people serve jaggery mixed with neem leaves. The bitter taste of neem leaves and the sweet of jaggery symbolise joy and sorrow in life. This is more popular with Kannadigas.

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