Amid the raging Gyanvapi mosque row, Hindu right-wing leader Pramod Muthalik said on Saturday that “all 30,000 temples which were demolished” will be “taken back”.
Pramod Muthalik, head of right-wing group Sri Ram Sene, said in Karnataka, “We will take back all 30,000 temples which were demolished to build masjids. Stop us if you have the guts. You people warned of bloodshed during demolition of Babri Masjid. What happened to that? You couldn’t take even a single drop of blood of Hindus.”
He added, “If you have a little shame, give us back our temples which were demolished earlier. We won’t tolerate this type of arrogance anymore. No one can touch us – we will get those temples back in a legal way by following the Constitution.”
On Friday, former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister KS Eshwarappa issued a similar statement on the mandir-masjid controversy.
He said, “36,000 temples have been destroyed and masjids were built over it. Let them build mosques elsewhere and offer namaz, but we cannot allow them to build masjids over our temples. I am telling you, all the 36,000 temples will be reclaimed by Hindus and legally.”
The mandir-masjid controversy surfaced in Karnataka on April 21, when a Hindu temple-like architectural design was found underneath an old mosque on the outskirts of Mangaluru.
Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, a court case is underway over the Gyanvapi – Shringar Gauri complex in Varanasi.
A petition filed in 1991 in a Varanasi court claimed that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built on the orders of Aurangzeb by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple during his reign in the 16th century.
The petitioners and local priests sought permission to worship in the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. The Allahabad High Court in 2019 ordered a stay on an ASI survey that was requested by the petitioners.
The current controversy started when five Hindu women sought to routinely worship Shringar Gauri and other idols within the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
Last month, a Varanasi court ordered a videographed survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after the five Hindu women filed pleas, seeking to worship behind the western wall of the premises.
The case is currently being heard by the Varanasi district court.