Varanasi on High Alert as Shops Shut Down in Protest Against Puja Order at Gyanvapi Mosque: Empowered Demonstrations Amplify Local Concerns.

On Friday, shops in Muslim-majority neighborhoods of Varanasi stayed closed as a bandh was initiated by the management of the Gyanvapi mosque…

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, responsible for managing the Gyanvapi mosque, initiated a town-wide bandh on Friday. Its impact was evident in market districts such as Dalmandi, Nai Sadak, Nadesar, and Ardal Bazar.

Security personnel carry out a flag march amidst the Varanasi bandh organized by the Muslim community following a Varanasi court’s authorization for a puja ceremony at the ‘Vyas ji ka Tehkhana’ within the Gyanvapi Mosque, on Friday, February 2, 2024.

In Varanasi, shops in areas predominantly inhabited by Muslims remained shuttered, prompting police to issue an alert across the entire district ahead of Friday prayers. This action followed a district court ruling permitting Hindu prayers in a cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Varanasi district is on high alert for the first Friday prayers following the district court’s ruling. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, responsible for managing the Gyanvapi mosque, called for a town-wide bandh on Friday.

ALSO READ : First images of puja at Gyanvapi mosque after 31 years: Watch now!

In a letter issued by the committee, it urged for the closure of markets and encouraged people to observe Friday prayers peacefully. The committee also advised Muslim women to stay indoors. Police Commissioner Ashok Mutha Jain convened a meeting with police officials to discuss the situation.

Extra police personnel have been deployed from neighboring districts to ensure peace throughout the day. Enhanced security measures have been implemented around Kashi Vishwanath Dham and its vicinity. The Rapid Police Force (RPF) has been stationed in sensitive areas as a precautionary measure.

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