Hindus Granted “Right to ‘Worship’” in Masjid in Apparent Contradiction of Indian Law


A district court in New Delhi handed down an odd ruling which seems to conflict with India’s “Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991” a law stating that the “religious identity” of a particular cite is determined according to how it existed as of 15 August 1947, and that this identity or “character” could not be altered or changed.

In a ruling given on 12 September the court ruled in favor of Hindu plaintiffs who claimed that they had been worshiping at an area within the confines of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid’s property intermittently from 1993 and at least once a year. They claimed there were both “visible and invisible” gods that they worshiped there and asked to court to strike down an injunction preventing them from entering the masjid grounds to perform rituals prohibited by Islamic teachings.

Despite the Masjid’s “religious character” being fixed by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act as an “Islamic site” the judge ruled that the five plaintiffs could not be prevented from exercising their “civil liberties” and right to “religious freedom” by worshiping their Hindu gods within the masjid grounds.

Embolden by the ruling the women said, “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted. In fact we want to put in another petition to clear out the area where our mahadev has been found. We want to worship our deity.” showing the desire to further infringe on the sanctity of the masjid, essentially circumventing the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act by slowly converting the masjid into a hindu temple.

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