Priests' body, social organisation move court against plea for removal of Mathura mosque

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Mathura, Nov 11 (PTI) A body of priests and a social organisation on Wednesday approached a district court against the plea seeking the removal of a mosque near a temple which the devouts believe marks the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The Akhil Bharatiya Tirath Purohit Mahasabha and the Mathur Chaturved Parishad pleaded to be made respondents in the case.

They said the suit for the removal of the mosque should not be allowed as it is detrimental to communal harmony in the country, according to their counsels.

In September, a group of people had filed a suit over the 17th century Shahi Idgah mosque, which they claimed was built at the birthplace of Lord Krishna, within the 13.37-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple.

The suit was filed on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman, through the 'next friend' Ranjana Agnihotri and others.

Next friend is a legal term for a person who represents someone directly unable to maintain a suit.

The appellants had demanded the annulment of an earlier Mathura court ruling, ratifying a land deal reached between the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan and the Shahi Idgah Management Committee.

The petition had named the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, Shahi Masjid Idgah Trust, Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Trust, and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan as defendants.

Ramesh Kumar Sharma, the counsel for the priests’ body, said the organisation, represented by its national president Mahesh Pathak and vice- president Naveen Nagar, requested the court to make them respondents or at least hear them out in the case.

Sharma said the organisation has stated in their plea that communal harmony of the country, especially Mathura, may be adversely affected if the appeal against the mosque is allowed.

The Mathur Chaturved Parishad said in their application that the plaintiffs in the case are not residents of Mathura and are guided by some political people.

For the sake of publicity, they want to spoil the peace of Mathura by presenting a concocted story, the application said.

An environment of fear would develop and livelihood of priests and others would be in peril if the appeal is allowed, K K Arora, the counsel for the parishad said.

Arora said the parishad requested the court to make them respondents to avoid an environment of enmity. PTI CORR RDK RDK