UP court allows plea for removal of Shahi Idgah mosque on ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ in Mathura

A court in Uttar Pradesh has allowed a lawsuit demanding the removal of a mosque built on what is said to be “Krishna Janmabhoomi” or the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Mathura.

The lawsuit filed by Lucknow resident Ranjana Agnihotri as the “next friend of the infant Lord Krishna” of the Katra Keshav Dev temple demands removal of the 17th century Shahi Idgah Masjid from the Katra Keshav Dev temple premises which is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

The Shahi Idgah mosque was built at the Krishna Janmabhoomi on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1669-70, says the petition, which is among many demanding the removal of the mosque.

“As worshippers of Lord Krishna, we have the right to file a suit demanding restoration of his property. The mosque was wrongly built on Krishna Janmabhoomi. There was a compromise several years ago on the sharing of property, but that compromise was illegal,” said Gopal Khandelwal, lawyer for the petitioner.

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A Mathura civil court had earlier dismissed several such petitions saying it was inadmissible under the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which says that the religious status of any place of worship is to be maintained as it was on August 15, 1947.

An exception to the rule was made in the case of the 16th century Babri mosque which was razed down by Hindu activists who claimed that it was built on the ruins of an ancient Ram temple. The Supreme Court in 2019 gave the land on which the mosque stood to Hindus for building a Ram temple and at the same time ordered alternative land for a mosque.

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