A Varanasi civil judge who had ordered a video survey at the Gyanvapi mosque told the Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday that he has received a handwritten threat letter, PTI reported.
Ravi Kumar Diwakar alleged that a person named Kashif Ahmed Siddiqui sent him the letter on behalf of an organisation called the Islamic Aaghaz Movement. The letter purportedly stated that no Muslim could expect a correct verdict from him, as he was a Hindu and an idol worshipper.
Diwakar has written to the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary (Home), the director general of police and the Varanasi Police Commissionerate about the purported threat letter.
Varanasi Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh said that the security for the judge and his mother, who lives in Lucknow, is being reviewed, according to The Times of India. Security for both of them had been upgraded on May 13 after the judge gave the order to conduct the survey, he said.
Nine police officials have been deployed for Diwakar’s security, Ganesh said. He added that an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police is investigating the threat letter.
On May 13, the judge had said that his family was worried about his safety, and that “an ordinary civil matter” had been hyped.
On April 26, Diwakar had ordered a video survey at the Gyanvapi mosque. The survey report was filed in court on May 19.
The development came after five women petitioners claimed that an image of deity Shringar Gauri exists at the back of the western wall of the mosque. They have demanded that they be allowed to offer daily prayers and observe other Hindu rituals at the site.
A court-appointed surveyor reported that an oval object had been found in the tank of the Muslim place of worship. Hindu petitioners claimed it is a Shivling, a symbolic representation of Hindu deity Shiva. Muslims, however, say that the object is actually a fountain.
The court had ordered the sealing of a portion of the Gyanvapi mosque even before receiving the report of the survey. On May 20, the Supreme Court transferred the case to a district judge citing the “sensitivity of the matter”.