On Orders Of The Court, Archaeological Survey Of Gyanvapi Mosque In Varanasi Begins
Varanasi, July 24 (TNA) A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday initiated a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. This comes after the Varanasi district court's order permitting an inspection, while the mosque management committee filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the decision.
The ASI team arrived in Varanasi on Sunday with all the necessary equipment. Notably, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee opted to boycott the survey, with their representatives absent during the proceedings.
The court's order stems from a petition filed by five Hindu women seeking a "scientific survey" of the entire mosque premises. Last year, during a court-mandated survey of the mosque near the Kashi Vishwanath temple, a structure claimed to be a "Shivling" by Hindus and a "fountain" by Muslims was discovered.
The Varanasi district court has now directed an extensive ASI survey to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple. However, the section under seal since May 2022, where the disputed Shivling is located, will not be included in the survey.
The ASI survey involves around 40 members, including ASI officials, four Hindu women plaintiffs, their counsels, and representatives from the Gyanvapi mosque management committee. Hindu petitioners expressed their support for the survey, considering it a significant moment for the community and a potential solution to the Gyanvapi issue.
The Gyanvapi mosque case has drawn parallels to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, with some arguing that it violates the Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991. However, the ASI survey proceeds despite legal contentions.
In summary, the ASI's scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex is underway in Varanasi, while court petitions from both Hindu and Muslim sides add complexity to the dispute over the site's history.