Closure of Dhar Bhojshala akin to Gyanvapi: Indore Bench High Court Orders Survey by 5 Experts, Report Due in 6 Weeks

The bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Indore has issued orders for the survey of Dhar Bhojshala, mirroring the approach taken with the Gyanvapi Mosque. On Monday, the court directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to form a team of five experts to conduct the survey on this matter. This team is expected to submit its report to the court within six weeks.

The discussion on this matter commenced in the Indore High Court on January 19. Following hearings, the court had kept the decision pending. Today, on March 11, the court pronounced its verdict. It has been announced that the survey should be completed by April 29.

Madhya Pradesh High Court Orders Scientific Survey Using GPR-GPS Methodology

The High Court has directed that the survey of Dhar Bhojshala be conducted using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology. GPR is a technique used to investigate the various layers of the ground’s reality. It involves the use of radar for scanning beneath the surface.

This survey will also employ GPS surveying, under the Global Positioning System, to ensure accurate mapping. Carbon dating processes will be utilized to determine the age of buildings. The entire survey will involve photography and videography.

Vishnushankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, stated that the survey will be conducted in the presence of both parties. The original form of Bhojshala will now be revealed. The hearing for this case is scheduled for April 29. The initial survey report will be submitted to the court for review.

Petition Basis and Acceptance of Demands

The Hindu Front for Justice filed a petition in the Indore High Court on May 1, 2022, based on which the demand was made. It was stated that every Tuesday, Hindus perform rituals to sanctify the hearth, while on Fridays, Muslims consecrate the same hearth for their prayers. It was deemed necessary to put an end to this practice.

Complete control of the Bhojshala should be handed over to Hindus. For this purpose, it is essential to conduct comprehensive photography, videography, and excavation of the entire Bhojshala. The High Court has accepted the demands based on these issues.

After the court order, Hindu organizations reached the hall and fed sweets to each other. Expressed happiness over the decision by bursting firecrackers.

The Dispute Surrounding Bhojshala

According to the district administration’s website, Bhojshala was constructed by Raja Bhoje. This site was a university where the statue of Saraswati was installed by a Muslim ruler who later shifted it to a mosque. The remnants can be seen at Maulana Kamaluddin’s mosque, which is now within the Bhojshala campus, while the original statue of the deity is displayed at the London Museum.

Hindus are allowed to pray in Bhojshala on Tuesdays, while Muslims are permitted entry from 1 to 3 PM on Fridays for prayers, granting free entry to both parties on these days. On other days, the ticket price is one rupee. Additionally, Hindus are granted a day-long exemption for worship and havan (ritual fire) on Vasant Panchami.

In 2006, 2012, and 2016, disputes arose on Vasant Panchami falling on Fridays. During these instances, Hindus were allowed to worship when it coincided with Friday prayers. Such a situation may arise again in 2026.

The History of Bhojshala

The Hindu side claims Bhojshala to be a temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. Centuries ago, Muslims allegedly violated its sanctity by constructing the tomb of Maulana Kamaluddin here. However, even today, Bhojshala houses images of deities and Sanskrit verses inscribed on its walls. The English took the idol of Vagdevi (Saraswati) installed here to London during their rule.

It is asserted in the petition that Bhojshala is a place of worship for Hindus. In the name of prayers, Muslims have been working to remove the remnants inside the temple premises.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, counsel for the Hindu side in the case, shared a copy of the order on 'X'.

Hindu Petition Filed in Court Regarding Bhojshala

In the recent hearing, it was informed that the Division Bench of the High Court deliberated on matters dating back to 1902, where all parties were represented. During this session, Hindu petitioner Ashish Goyal requested that the entire premises of Bhojshala be surveyed again. The court, mindful of cases like Ayodhya, ensured its decision remained secure.

Seven petitions related to the Bhojshala case have been filed. The primary petition is led by the Hindu Front for Justice. It demands an immediate halt to Muslims offering prayers and regular rights for Hindus to conduct worship at Bhojshala.

Niyati Rao

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