Mathura: Shahi Idgah Masjid survey on hold till Jan 20 as Masjid Committee objects

The Shahi Idgah Masjid in Mathura was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th Century. | Image: TCN

The Muslim side representing Shahi Idgah in Mathura filed an objection in the survey of disputed complex.

Huneza Khan | 

Support TwoCircles

NEW DELHI —  With the reopening of the court after winter holidays, the Shahi Idgah Masjid Committee filed its objection in the Civil Judge Court in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The objection was raised against the December 24 order of the Civil Court which called for a survey of Shahi Idgah Masjid in response to the plea filed by Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta. After the Masjid Committee’s objection, the inspection that was supposed to begin on January 2 was put on hold till January 20. 

The counsel for the Mosque Committee, Tanvir Ahmed said that they had filed an objection as they were neither presented with a copy of the petition filed by the Hindu Sena nor heard before the order was passed or notified of the order, according to the Economic Times. 

Ahmed also sought to clarify that the order called for a mere report of the current status and not a “survey’, as being projected as taking a cue from the survey conducted at Gyanvapi Mosque. 

Just before the winter holidays in December 2022, a Civil Court in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh directed Amin (revenue department officer) to survey the now-disputed land of Shahi Idgah Masjid and submit the report before the Court by January 20. 

The matter was first highlighted in September 2020 when Advocate Ranjan Agnihotri of Lucknow along with six others filed a petition in Lower Court claiming that the Shahi Idgah Masjid is built on a part of 13.37-acre land that belongs to Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust. The plea that demanded the return of land by removing Shahi Idgah Masjid was rejected by the civil judge. However, an appeal was made and therein the Mathura Court overruled the Civil Court’s order by admitting the plea and held that “the suit to remove the Shahi Idgah Masjid, allegedly built on the land of Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi is maintainable.” 

What is the dispute?
The Krishna Janmsthan Temple complex is a group of temples in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Hindus believe that Lord Krishna was born there. The Shahi Idgah Masjid was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th Century. It is adjacent to the Katra Keshav Dev Temple. The Hindus claim that the real birthplace of Lord Krishna is not where the temple is situated rather it is in a place where the Shahi Idgah Masjid stands today. Hence, they demand the ownership of land by removing Shahi Idgah Masjid. 

The land has been subject to dispute for many decades. In 1968, there was a settlement between the temple trust and the Masjid trust over the ownership of land. 

Both parties – the legally registered temple trust and the mosque trust signed the compromise which stated that while the ownership of the land remained with the temple trust, the Trust Masjid Idgah had management rights to run the temple, as per Outlook. 

This meant that the temple trust had no more a right to stake claims on the masjid land.

Now, the Hindu Party claims that the 1968 agreement between Mosque and Temple Trust was illegal and therefore should be cancelled. They argued that “the temple trust did not have the power to act against the interest of the people belonging to the faith and against the interest of the deity.”

Huneza Khan is a student and a budding journalist from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She tweets @KhanHuneza