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Aurangzeb demolished Keshavdev Temple, Krishna Janmabhoomi site, to build mosque in Mathura, says ASI in RTI reply

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has provided information regarding the historical records of the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex in Mathura, in response to an RTI query. The ASI disclosed an excerpt from a Nov 1920 gazette, which stated that a temple of Keshavdev once stood on portions of the Katra mound. “Portions of Katra mound which are not in the possession of nazul tenants on which formerly stood a temple of Keshavdev which was dismantled and the site utilised for the mosque of Aurangzeb…” ASI stated.

The RTI was filed by Ajay Pratap Singh, a resident of Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. Although the RTI reply did not explicitly mention the term ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi,’ it confirmed the demolition of the Keshavdev temple by the Mughal emperor, a TOI report said.

The confirmation has provided encouragement to those involved in the legal battle for the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque from the site. Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, president of Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nyas and one of the petitioners against the mosque, plans to present this significant piece of evidence to the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court. Singh stated that the ASI’s reply, along with the historical evidence, supports their claim that Aurangzeb issued a decree in 1670 CE to demolish the Keshavdev temple. He believes that this strengthens their demand for a survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque and excludes it from the purview of the Place of Worship Act, 1991.

Recently, the Supreme Court extended the interim stay on the Allahabad High Court’s order for a court-monitored survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque complex in Mathura. The stay order will remain in effect until the first half of April.

The Allahabad High Court has scheduled February 22 for the hearing of a petition concerning the viability of a lawsuit aiming to dismantle the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura. The suit contends that the mosque occupies 13.37 acres of land belonging to the Katra Keshav Deo temple. The court set this date as the Hindu party failed to submit its response to the challenge on the lawsuit’s viability.

Feb 06,2024

Source: Economic Times

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