Varanasi Collector to Ensure Sufficient Numbers of Plastic Tubs with Water for ‘Wazu’ Facilities at Gyanvapi Mosque: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court asked the Varanasi district collector on Friday to ensure that a sufficient number of plastic tubs with water is made available for “wazu” (ritual ablution) for Muslim devotees at the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha recorded the statement of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared in the court on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, that the collector would ensure the availability of water at the mosque complex.

“The solicitor general states that in order to facilitate the performance of ‘wazu’, the district magistrate shall ensure that a sufficient number of tubs for water is made available to avoid inconvenience,” the bench said.

The apex court had earlier directed the collector to hold a meeting for providing congenial working arrangements for “wazu” at the mosque complex.

The court was hearing a plea moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, seeking permission for “wazu” at the mosque complex in Varanasi during the month of Ramzan.

The top court had earlier referred to its order passed on May 20 last year, directing that facilities for “wazu” and washrooms be provided to devotees following the sealing of certain areas inside the mosque premises.

The solicitor general had assured the court that a meeting shall be convened by the collector so that a congenial working arrangement is provided, the bench noted in its order.

The court had also recorded the mosque management committee’s statement that it will be satisfied even if mobile toilets are provided.

The apex court had, on November 11 last year, extended till further orders the protection of the area inside the mosque complex where a “Shivling” was claimed to have been found.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the mosque committee, had requested the bench to take up the matter for hearing soon, saying the month of Ramzan is underway and adequate arrangements should be made.

He had said the water for “wazu” was being used from a drum and the number of worshippers had increased in view of Ramzan.

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