INDIA, January 31, 2024 (Hindustan Times): A Varanasi district court on Wednesday allowed the Hindu side to offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi mosque. The court directed the Varanasi district magistrate to make arrangements for pooja to be performed by the Hindu side and a pujari nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust. On January 17, the Varanasi district court appointed the district magistrate as the receiver, directing him to keep the cellar safe and not allow any change in it. On January 24, a district administration team led by additional district magistrate Prakash Chandra completed the proceedings in connection with the DM becoming the receiver of the cellar and taking it into his custody.“ Puja will start within seven days. Everyone will have the right to perform puja,” Vishnu Shankar Jain, the lawyer representing the Hindu side, said. The mosque has four tahkhanas (cellars) in the basement out of which one is still in possession of the Vyas family who used to live here. The area in question holds a disputed structure that the Hindus say is a Shivlingam.

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First puja performance, February 1: