Kashi: A piece of land outside the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi has been handed over to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust, in exchange for another plot of land in the arena.
The land given by the mosque to the trust was initially given to the mosque officials on a perpetual lease to build a police control room. The mosque officials informed the Indian Express that this was done keeping in mind the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
However, the Temple trust had requested for the land two years ago so that they could ensure better security arrangements for the Kashi Vishwanath temple corridor.
While the area ceded to the trust is equal in value, it is larger in size to the one it has been exchanged for. The land given by the mosque is 1,700 sq ft while the land received from the temple trust is 1,000 sq ft.
Under the Gyanvapi mosque committee, there are three plots of land. One of them has the mosque, the second plot is a common passage between the two places of worship while the third plot was handed over to the district administration a year after the Babri mosque was demolished to build a control room for security of both the places. However, in the interest of the present project, the police control room was demolished recently.
S M Yasin, joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia mosque and the caretaker of the Gyanvapi Masjid informed Indian Express that the third piece of land, owned by the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board, was given on lease for an unlimited period and without any transaction. The giving away of the land to the temple trust wasn’t met with any resistance because the mosque wasn’t gaining any revenue from the land.
“The Trust had requested us to give this land a couple of years ago, and after checking the rules for such a transfer, we agreed for a transfer on July 8.”
“The reason to announce the news on July 23 was because it is auspicious saawan month for Hindus. Ensuring that the news was announced at the right time, will prevent communalization and ensure communal harmony.” said Yasin.