AIMC responds to invitation for Gyanvapi out-of-court settlement negotiations

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Varanasi, 16 Aug: The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC) revealed on Wednesday that it has responded to Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh (VVSS) leader Jitendra Singh Visen’s letter requesting negotiations for an out-of-court solution of the Gyanvapi dispute. “We received the letter via WhatsApp from VVSS chief Visen. We have responded to Visen and (VVSS national president) Santosh Singh,” said AIMC joint secretary SM Yasin.

He did not divulge the content of the correspondence only that it will be presented to the mosque committee.

Visen, who represents one of five Hindu women seeking daily devotion at Varanasi’s Gyanvapi complex, verified the news. “Yes, the committee has responded to the letter.”

Visen represents Rakhi Singh, who filed a complaint in a local Varanasi court in August 2021, together with Rekha Pathak, Sita Sahoo, Lakshmi Devi, and Manju Vyas, demanding the right to daily worship at the Shringar Gauri Sthal in the Gyanvapi complex.

In May of last year, the case was moved to the Varanasi district court, where it is still waiting. The next hearing is scheduled for August 17. Visen advocated for talks to settle the disagreement, claiming that “some anti-social elements” were seeking to use the legal conflict between the two parties for personal benefit, which may “prove to be harmful to both the country and society.”

“In such a situation, it becomes the duty of all of us to set an example by settling this legal matter peacefully through mutual negotiations, taking care of the safety and security of our country and society,” Visen stated in his letter to the mosque committee.

“As a result, I implore all of you to accept this invitation with an open and pious mind, and to come forward for talks to resolve the aforementioned issue (the Gyanvapi matter). It is feasible that a peaceful resolution to the aforementioned situation can be achieved outside of the courtroom through mutual conversation. With an open and pure heart, we welcome everyone to this dialogue,” Visen stated.

Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, who represents the four other women who brought the complaint on behalf of the Hindu side, has said unequivocally that they are not interested in negotiating.

“Our position is clear: we will follow the legal path that we have taken in this matter since the beginning. We filed an application in the Varanasi district court in May of this year, requesting an order for an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey at Gyanvapi.

After hearing both sides, the court ordered an ASI assessment of Gyanvapi’s blocked region, except its restricted portion, on July 21. ASI is doing the survey in Gyanvapi.”