Friday, March 1, 2024

Varanasi Court orders to make ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque public

The Varanasi Court on Wednesday ordered that the report of the Gyanvapi Mosque’s scientific survey conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) be made public, with all relevant parties getting access to the same, LiveLaw reported.

The order was made by the district Judge AK Vishvesha.

In July last year, ASI conducted a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi as per the order of the Varanasi District Judge to determine if the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The survey excluded the wuzu khana area which was sealed in 2022 on the orders of the Supreme Court after Hindu petitioners pointed to the presence there of what they identified as a Shivling.

The Supreme Court refused to stay the survey taking on record an undertaking made on behalf of the ASI that no excavation would be done at the site and no damage would be caused to the structure.

The Hindu nationalists have been campaigning that the historic mosque was built on the site of the original Kashi Vishwanath temple, while Muslims maintain that the mosque was built on Waqf premises and that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 barred changing the character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

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