Shafiqur Rahman Barq, a Samajwadi Party MP, on Sunday dismissed the claims of Hindu litigants that a ‘Shivling’ had been found during a videographic survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque.
Lucknow: Shafiqur Rahman Barq, a Samajwadi Party MP, on Sunday dismissed the claims of Hindu litigants that a ‘Shivling’ had been found during a survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque. He said the controversy was concocted in view of the 2024 parliamentary elections. He also said that even though a Ram temple is being constructed in Ayodhya, the mosque still exists on the site. He also accused the Centre of using strong-arm tactics against the Muslim community. “If you go into the history there was no ‘Shivling’ and nothing else in the Gyanvapi mosque. All this is wrong,” Barq, an MP from Sambhal, told reporters on Sunday.
Barq was in Lucknow to meet Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. “Though a Ram temple is being constructed, I still say that there is a mosque there. Ye takat ke bal-boote pe ho raha” (This is purely a display of power),” he added.
He said Muslims are being targeted and mosques are being attacked. He accused the government of running a rule of bulldozers.
Earlier this month, a local court in Varanasi formed a panel to conduct videography inside the Gyanvapi mosque, which is situated adjacent to the ancient Kashi Vishwanath temple. The order had been issued on a petition seeking unhindered access to Goddess Shringar Gauri whose image they claimed was on a wall inside the mosque.
The survey team reportedly found some signs of Hindu deities, including a Shivling.
The Varanasi court then ordered sealing the area where the Shivling had been found.
Meanwhile, an official managing the mosque told a news channel that the structure being claimed as a Shivling was in fact a fountain.
The Supreme Court, hearing the plea of the Muslim party, ordered the Varanasi administration to secure the area but allow Muslims to offer namaz at the mosque.
With inputs from PTI