Judge who ordered Gyanvapi survey gets threat letter; case filed
The Uttar Pradesh Police has registered a case in connection with a "threat letter" received by the judge who ordered the filming of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi. The case was registered on the complaint of an orderly of Varanasi civil judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar who on Tuesday informed the Varanasi administration that he received a threat letter.
- Judge Diwakar had ordered filming of the Gyanvapi Mosque while hearing five women petitioners seeking year-long access to a shrine behind the mosque.
- Petitioners claimed there were idols of Hindu gods and goddesses inside the mosque.
- Following the submission of the report, petitioners claimed the mosque houses a Shivling.
- However, the mosque committee had disputed it, saying it was part of a fountain.
The "threat letter" was purportedly written by Kashif Ahmed Siddiqui from an organization called Islamic Aagaz Movement. The letter reportedly refers to the filming of the mosque that the judge had ordered on April 26 while hearing the petition. The letter was posted on June 4 and was written on a letterhead that carried a Delhi address, the police said.
"You have made a statement that inspection of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex is a normal process. You are an idol worshipper, you will declare the mosque a temple...No Muslim can expect the right decision from a 'kafir, murtipujak' Hindu judge," the purported threat letter said.
Following the threat letter, judge Diwakar had written to several Uttar Pradesh officials like the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), the Director-General of Police (DGP), and the Varanasi Police Commissionerate, demanding appropriate action. "A joint team of the Varanasi Police and the crime branch is investigating the matter," officials said. The police said they have also upgraded the security for the judge and his family.
To recall, the Supreme Court transferred the Gyanvapi Mosque case from civil judge Diwakar to District Judge AK Vishvesh on May 20. It was done after taking into consideration the "complexities" and "sensitivity" of the issue.