Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh government today justified deployment of police inside Kashi Vishwanath temple, during a hearing on a PIL in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court.

The petition sought a direction against deployment of police inside (around the Garbh Griha, the place where main deities are installed) the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi. A division bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi passed this order today on a petition filed by Hindu Personal Law Board through its president Ashok Pandey.

The petitioner alleged that the such deployment of police is causing inconvenience to devotees as sometimes police personnel throw them out and misbehave, which hurts their religious sentiments. Petitioner sought a direction for prohibiting deployment of police personnel inside the temple.

On behalf of the state government, AAG Bulbul Godiyal filed counter affidavit justifying the deployment of police inside the temple. While referring a ruling, she submitted that the responsibility of maintaining peace and security of the temple was equally that of the Union and state governmens, hence state police personnel have been deployed there.

AAG further contended that the PIL was not maintainable here at Lucknow as matter in question relates to Varanasi. The court while providing time to petitioner to file rejoinder affidavit, fixed May 11 as the next date of hearing the petition.