The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre, state government, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other parties on the dispute over the monument of Bhojshala in Dhar district.
The notices were issued by the Division Bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice Amarnath Kesharwani on two public interest litigations (PIL) filed by Hindu Front for Justice and others from the Hindu community.
The High Court also issued notices to Maulana Kamaluddin Welfare Society, which is associated with a masjid situated in the Bhojshala premises.
Bhojshala is an ASI protected monument, which Hindus believe is a temple of Waghdevi (Saraswati), while the Muslim community treats it as Kamal Maula Mosque.
As per the arrangement made by the ASI, Hindus perform puja in the premises every Tuesday, while Muslims offer namaz in the complex on Fridays.
The petitioners submitted historic facts about Bhojshala and its photos before the High Court to challenge the ASI's arrangement under different provisions of the Constitution. They have also urged the court to give a religious right to Hindus to perform puja round the year and withdraw the permission given to the Muslim community to offer namaz on Fridays.
The petitioners have also demanded that the statue of Waghdevi, which is in a museum in London, be brought back to India and re-established in the Bhojshala premises as per the religious sentiments of Hindus.
The petition has cited that the then rulers of Dhar had installed the holy statue at Bhojshala in 1034 AD and it was taken to London in 1857 by the British. The petitions are likely to be taken up for hearing on June 27.
The dispute over Bhojshala is not new to the Dhar district administration, as it has to make tough security arrangements in the town whenever the Basant-Panchmi festival falls on Friday, the day of namaz for Muslims.
With PTI inputs