Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Saturday that unlike the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, neither the government or Bharatiya Janata Party were involved in a recent plea for the removal of a mosque in Mathura, allegedly built on ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’.

“There is no role of our government in this and there cannot be a reaction from BJP as well. Some organisations have approached the court on their own. We are not party to this either in court or anywhere else, hence it will not be appropriate for me to comment on this,” Shah said, in an exclusive interview with Network 18 Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.

Shah said while Ram Janmabhoomi had been the party’s agenda, along with a movement towards it for many years, BJP was not involved in the recent Mathura issue.

Recently, senior BJP leaders and Hindutva activists were acquitted in the Babri mosque demolition case. The decision came as a big boost to the saffron party whose leaders have insisted that the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya was a spontaneous act and not part of any conspiracy.

On Friday, a Mathura court admitted a plea seeking the removal of a 17th-century Shahi Idgah mosque situated adjacent to ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ in the UP city. The court of district judge Sadhna Rani Thakur had accepted the appeal, and the matter will be heard next on November 18. Mathura is considered to be the birthplace of Hindu God Krishna.

Last month, a civil court had dismissed the petition seeking the removal of the Mosque. A group of people had moved the Mathura court over the mosque they claim was built at the birthplace of Krishna, within the 13-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple.

The petition, filed in the court of Senior Civil Judge Chhaya Sharma, had also demanded the annulment of a 1968 Mathura court ruling ratifying a land deal reached between the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan and Shahi Idgah Management Committee.

When the senior division civil judge dismissed their plea on September 30, they appealed in the district court on October 12 terming the order “erroneous and against facts”. After summoning the record of the lower court, the district court admitted the appeal on Friday.

“Admit appeal. Issue notice to opposite parties to appear in the court on November 18,” District and Sessions Judge Sadhana Thakur said.

“Ultimately the district judge has accepted our point. We have been fighting for justice for the last one month,” said counsel for the petitioners Vishnu Shankar Jain.

The suit was filed on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman through the “next friend” Ranjana Agnihotri and seven others. Next friend is a legal term for a person who represents someone directly unable to maintain a suit.

The defendants in the case were the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, the Shahi Masjid Idgah Trust, the Shri Krishna Janambhumi Trust and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan, Jain said.

The plea stated that if the property of the deity has been misused, the worshipper had every right to sue offenders. It was also submitted to the court that the five-judge bench in the Ayodhya case has ruled that a worshipper has a right to protect the property of the deity, Jain said.

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