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“Power Should Be in Hands of Religious Leaders”: UP Judge Praises Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

In a recent court order, Additional District and Session Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar from Bareilly said that individuals in positions of power should be religious figures, citing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath as an example. He said this notion while summoning Barelvi sect cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan in connection with the 2010 Bareilly riot case.

The court’s observation stemmed from Plato’s concept of the ‘Philosopher King’ in his book Republic, where it’s argued that having a philosopher king could alleviate suffering in society.

He said: “Those wielding power should be a religious person because the life of a religious person is not of enjoyment but of sacrifice and dedication. For example, the Siddha Peeth Gorkhnath Temple’s peethadheeshwar Mahant Baba Yogi Aditya Nath, who is presently [the] chief minister of our Uttar Pradesh, has proved the above concept to be true.”

Regarding the Bareilly riot case, Diwakar stated, “If a religious person like Khan engages in activities contrary to this concept by provoking their community, it can lead to disruptions in law and order.” Khan wasn’t among the accused named in the chargesheet.

The 2010 Bareilly riot resulted in injuries, property damage, and the imposition of a curfew. Diwakar criticized the exclusion of Khan from the chargesheet despite evidence against him, blaming the failure of officials at the time.

Diwakar also said that he faced threats following his order for a videographic survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque premises in 2022. This order stemmed from a petition regarding the existence of a Hindu deity’s image at the mosque site, leading to a contentious legal battle.

“In the Gyanvapi case, I gave it under the legal provisions,” Diwakar stated.

In a separate development, the Varanasi district court recently allowed Hindus to offer prayers in the sealed basement of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, following an Archaeological Survey of India report suggesting the presence of a Hindu temple destroyed during the Mughal era.

The judge who passed this order, Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha, has been appointed as the Lokpal of a public university in Lucknow.

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