Row over Lord Krishna's birthplace: Mathura court requested to reject plea against mosque

MATHURA: A Muslim body on Monday requested a Mathura court to reject the plea seeking the removal of a mosque near a temple which the devouts believe marks the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

The plea seeking the removal of the 17th century Shahi Idgah mosque from the 13.37-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple was filed by advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh and four others.

Demanding that the plea be rejected, the Intazamia Shahi Masjid Committee in a written statement to the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) cited provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the filing of a lawsuit to reclaim a place of worship or seek a change in its character from what prevailed on August 15, 1947.

“The suit deserves cancellation since the Shahi Idgah Masjid was constructed prior to August 15,1947,” the statement submitted by the committee said.

The Muslim body through its counsel Neeraj Sharma said in the statement that neither the mosque was constructed on the land of the Keshav Dev temple nor any change could be made in the present position as it was constructed centuries ago.

The construction of the structure cannot be challenged since it is the property of the Waqf Board and was constructed in 1669, the 31-point statement said, adding that it is incorrect to say that the mosque was constructed on a part of the land belonging to the temple.

The court has fixed April 1 as the date for the hearing in the case.