The Gyanvapi structure belongs to Hindus and I will continue to fight for it until Hindus get what belongs to them, said Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas, who filed the petition to carry out puja archana in the basement area of the disputed mosque, in an interview. Shailendra, currently the head priest of the acharya Ved Vyas Peeth temple, has claimed that the Gyanvapi structure was under the possession of his family for 500 years and that his grandfather, priest somnath Vyas, offered puja in the cellar until it was closed by authorities in december 1993.

On january 31, a district court had ruled that a Hindu priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the mosque. The prayers are now being conducted by a Hindu priest nominated by the kashi vishwanath temple trust and Shailendra Vyas.

Shailendra said he was confident that ‘Sanatan Dharma’ would emerge victorious in the case. “I always thought of re-claiming possession of the basement of the Gyanvapi mosque. But following pressure, fear and hesitation, I couldn’t muster enough courage to come forward and lead the battle from the front. Of late, several Hindu parties came forward and filed various cases related to the Gyanvapi mosque. Hence, I thought of coming forward and filed the lawsuit on september 25, 2023,” he said.

In his plea, Shailendra Vyas had sought rights to offer prayers in the cellar on southern side of the Gyanvapi mosque and the appointment of a district magistrate as receiver of the cellar.

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