All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday slammed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report after the Hindu-side petitioners claimed that a large Hindu temple existed before the construction of the historic Gyanvapi Masjid, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, citing the report.
Owaisi quoted news reports on X and indicated that the report lacks academic rigour. Hyderabad MP further claimed that the report would not stand academic scrutiny.
“This wouldn’t stand academic scrutiny before any set of professional archaeologists or historians. The report is based on conjecture and makes a mockery of scientific study,” he posted.
AIMIM chief quoted veteran scholar, the late Omar Khalidi and further stated: “As a great scholar once said ASI is the handmaiden of Hindutva.”
On Thursday, Vishnu Shankar Jain, the Hindu side’s counsel in the Gyanvapi Masjid-Kashi Vishwanath temple issue, stated that the ASI found remnants of a large Hindu temple inside the mosque.
Jain also made the report public minutes after the 839-page document was given to the Hindu and Muslim sides, even though the court restrained both sides from revealing the details of the report in public.
“Based on the scientific studies and surveys carried out and the study of architectural remains, exposed features and artefacts, inscriptions, art, and sculptures, it can be said that there existed a Hindu temple prior to the construction of the existing structure,” read the report.
“The Arabic-Persian inscription found inside a room mentions that the mosque was built in the 20th regnal year of Aurangzeb… Hence, the pre-existing structure appears to have been destroyed in the 17th century, during the reign of Aurangzeb, and part of it was modified and reused in the existing structure,” said the report.
“Based on art and architecture, this pre-existing structure can be identified as a Hindu temple,” the ASI report said.