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Now, Jains seek right to worship in disputed Bhojshala-Kamal Maula Mosque complex

The plea has been moved at a time when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to present a report on its survey of the 11-century Bhojshala complex in the HC. The site is claimed by both Hindus and Muslims, leading to a dispute about its nature.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 10:54 IST

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Indore: A social activist has filed a writ petition in the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court, seeking the "right to worship" for his Jain community members in the disputed Bhojshala-Kamal Maula Mosque complex in Dhar.

The petition has claimed this complex once used to be a Jain Gurukul and a Jain temple where an idol of Goddess Ambika was installed.

The HC is likely to hear this week the petition filed on June 29 by Delhi-based social activist Salek Chand Jain, his lawyer Manohar Singh Chauhan said Monday.

The plea has been moved at a time when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to present a report on its survey of the 11-century Bhojshala complex in the HC following the court order.

The site is claimed by both Hindus and Muslims, leading to a dispute about its nature.

The HC on March 11 directed the ASI to carry out a 'scientific survey' of the Bhojshala complex, a medieval-era monument, on a petition by an organisation named 'Hindu Front for Justice'.

While Hindus believe the monument is a temple of Goddess Vagdevi (Saraswati), the Muslim community calls it Kamal Maula Mosque.

The activist's petition claimed there used to be a Jain Gurukul and Jain temple in the Bhojshala complex where monks from the community and scholars taught students.

The translation of various scriptures in Sanskrit, Prakrit and other languages was also done in this complex, hence members of the Jain community should be given the "right to worship" at this place, the petition said.

The plea also claimed that the idol found in the Bhojshala complex, which the Hindu community calls of Vagdevi (Goddess Saraswati), is actually the idol of the Jain community's Goddess Ambika (Jain Yakshini) which was installed there by King Bhoj of Dhar in 1034 AD.

It has been requested through the petition that this idol, kept at a museum in London, should be brought back to India and re-installed in the Bhojshala complex.

The petition also said the central government should be instructed to use the "radiocarbon dating" method to find out the actual age of the Bhojshala complex, the idols, inscriptions and artefacts, etc found there.

Following the court orders, the ASI started the survey of the disputed complex on March 22 and the exercise ended recently.

According to the HC order, the ASI has to submit a complete report of the survey of the disputed complex by July 2.

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Published 01 July 2024, 10:54 IST

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