Vishwa Vedic Sanathan Sangh chief Jitender Singh Vishen, whose niece and wife are plaintiffs in the dispute pertaining to the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, said on Saturday that his family was withdrawing from all cases pertaining to the matter, PTI reported.

“My family is withdrawing from all Gyanvapi-related cases that we had filed in the interest of the country and religion in various courts,” Visen said.

Vishen’s niece, Rakhi Singh, was among the five Hindu women who had filed a petition seeking rights to worship inside the mosque compound. They had claimed that an image of Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the mosque. In May last year, Singh had split from the women group, saying there was a “communication gap”.

Vishen’s wife, Kiran Singh, has filed a petition seeking the possession of the Gyanvapi mosque premises to the deity Vishweshwar Virajman (Swayambhu).

In May last year, an oval-shaped object was found during a survey of the mosque premises ordered by a Varanasi civil court. The Hindu litigants in the case claimed that the object was a shivling – a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva. However, the caretaker committee of the mosque claimed the object was a defunct fountainhead in the wazu khana, or ablution tank.

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On Saturday, Visen alleged that he and his family had been facing harassment from several quarters, including from the Hindu side. “In such a situation, due to limited strength and resources, I cannot fight this battle for ‘dharma’ [righteousness] anymore and that’s why I am leaving this,” he said.

He also alleged that the four women petitioners and their lawyers – Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Jain – have “watered down the claim of the Hindus for their personal gain”, reported The Indian Express.

“Today, the situation is that the court’s time will be wasted and the Hindu community has been cheated by some people…” he said. “The Hindu side will get a zero eventually.”

Vishen added that pursuing the Gyanvapi case was the “big mistake” of his life and said that “society is only with those who mislead by playing gimmicks in the name of religion”, according to PTI.

On his part, Advocate Jain rejected the accusation made by Vishen and said that he has a different understanding of the law.

“He [Vishen] does not know the first thing about the law,” the lawyer said, according to The Indian Express. “Everyone has a right to have an opinion…I only do my work. I don’t say anything about anyone… I am working for the cause of Hindutva and I am doing the best for my cases.”