Jitendra Singh Vishen, who heads Hindu organisation Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, has announced that he and his family are withdrawing from all cases related to the Gynavapi mosque complex in Varanasi, citing “lack of resources” and alleged “harassment” from various quarters.
Vishen is the “main pleader” on behalf of his niece Rakhi Singh, one of the five Hindu women plaintiffs in an August 2021 case seeking permission for daily worship of deities, including Shringar Gauri, located on the outer wall of Gyanvapi mosque complex that abuts the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
“I and my family (wife Kiran Singh and niece Rakhi Singh) are withdrawing from all Gyanvapi-related cases that we had filed in the interest of the country and religion in various courts,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
Earlier, his lawyer Shivam Gaur also announced withdrawal from the cases.
Besides the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi case, Vishen is also the main pleader in a May 2022 suit filed by his wife Kiran Singh, seeking worship of deity Adi Vishweshwar Virajman, whose temple was believed to be where the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque stands today.
“Ever since these cases were filed, my family members and I are being harassed by anti-religious people who are against Hindu dharma. The society is also standing with the forces,” Vishen said.
He also cited financial stress to contest the cases. “A few months ago, I sold my car to arrange the funds required for contesting the case. But now I am left with very limited resources and strength due to which I cannot do the pleading of the cases anymore,” he added.
Vishen has not submitted an application regarding his decision in the court yet, other lawyers involved in the case said.
“Jitendra Singh Vishen has made the announcement in the media to withdraw from the pleading of the case. He posted about it on social media. But he hasn’t yet submitted a written application to the court about his decision. The case is pending in court,” Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, a lawyer for the Hindu plaintiffs, said, adding Vishen’s decision will have no impact on the case as four women plaintiffs are firmly contesting the case.
Eklaq Ahmad, one of the advocates of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee that manages the Gyanvapi mosque, said the announcement doesn’t have any legal validity as he (Vishen) has not submitted any application before the court in this regard.