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Gyanvapi Case: Police probe ‘threat’ letter to judge who ordered survey

The two-page handwritten letter, purportedly sent by the president of the Islamic Aagaz Movement, a Delhi-based outfit, questions the order passed by Civil Judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar.

The handwritten two-page letter mentions the judge's family besides referring to the Prime Minister and a former Chief Justice of India in a derogatory manner. (Express Photo)

The Varanasi police have started an inquiry into a purported threat letter sent to a judge who had ordered court-monitored survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex on a suit filed by five women seeking the right to worship in the disputed shrine.

The two-page handwritten letter, purportedly sent by the president of the Islamic Aagaz Movement, a Delhi-based outfit, questions the order passed by Civil Judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar.

In the letter, outfit president Kashif Ahmed Siddiqui also mentions the judge’s family besides referring to the Prime Minister and a former Chief Justice of India in a derogatory manner. Taking a serious note of it, the Varanasi police upgraded the judge’s security and wrote to their counterparts in Lucknow to ensure safety of his family settled there.

Soon after receiving the letter from the judge, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Varuna Zone) Aditya Langeh was directed to conduct an inquiry, said Varanasi Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh. “Some documents are also attached with the letter. No FIR has been registered in this connection so far,” he added.

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A senior police officer said, “We are examining the letter and then will decide our next course of action. The letter is more of statements made by the sender.

DCP Langeh said a team would verify the address mentioned in the letter. “The judge’s security has been increased from four police personnel to nine. It would reviewed regularly,” he said.

Following a Supreme Court order, the Gyanvapi case was transferred to the Varanasi district judge’s court last month.

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Senior Judge (Civil Division) Diwakar informed the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) that he received the letter through registered post. “In the letter, Kashif says that in a hatred-filled political, social and cultural environment of India today, judges are also draped in the saffron robes. It also claims that no Muslim can expect a right decision from an idol-worshipper Hindu judge,” the judge wrote.

Hearing a petition filed by the five women seeking the right to worship inside the mosque complex on April 8, the judge had appointed Ajay Kumar Mishra as advocate commissioner to conduct the videography survey of the Kashi complex.

Passing an order on an application filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee, which had accused the court-appointed Mishra of being “biased”, the court on May 12 appointed two more advocate commissioners — lawyers Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh — to assist him. The court later removed Mishra.

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Singh and Mishra both have submitted separate reports of the survey. In another order, Ravi Kumar said the civil judge also struck a personal note after stating that “this action by the Commission is common, which is done in most civil matters, and very rarely is the Advocate Commissioner questioned.”

First published on: 09-06-2022 at 05:54:20 am
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