ASI submits survey report on Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi court; hearing on December 21 : The Tribune India

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ASI submits survey report on Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi court; hearing on December 21

The court had on July 21 directed ASI to conduct detailed scientific survey to determine if Gyanvapi mosque located next to Kashi Vishwanath temple is built upon a temple

ASI submits survey report on Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi court; hearing on December 21

View of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Dham and Gyanvapi Masjid complex, in Varanasi. PTI file



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18

Almost five months after a Varanasi court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple to determine if the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple, the ASI submitted its report on Monday.

“The report in sealed cover was placed before the court by the ASI’s Standing Counsel Amit Srivastava,” advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, who represented the Hindu petitioners, said.

The court has fixed December 21 to open the sealed report and supply its copies to advocates of both the sides, Yadav said, adding four senior ASI officials were present in the court.

The Varanasi district court had on July 21 directed the ASI to conduct a “detailed scientific survey” — including excavations, wherever necessary — to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple is built upon a temple.

The order was upheld by the Allahabad High Court on August 3.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee — which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque at Varanasi — had moved the Supreme Court which on August 2 refused to stay the Allahabad High Court's order allowing a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex by the ASI.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had, however, said the ASI would carry out the survey through “non-invasive methodology” in a non-destructive manner.

The survey would exclude the ‘wuzu khana’ area of the complex where a ‘shivling’ was reported to have been found last year.

“The job or function of the ASI is to preserve and protect property, monuments of historic importance, and hence there is no basis for the apprehension that any damage will be caused to the structure,” the top court had said.

To the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee’s contention that the ‘shivling’ in question was a fountain, the top court had said, “What is frivolous to you is faith to the other side”.  — with agency inputs

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