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Gyanvapi Mosque video survey to continue, court seeks report by May 17

It further ordered two more advocate commissioners to join the survey team
Last Updated : 12 May 2022, 10:45 IST

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In a significant decision, a court in Varanasi on Thursday rejected a petition seeking to stop survey and videography inside the Gyanvapi Mosque, which was adjacent to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and ordered that the survey and videography would continue.

The court also directed that the survey work be completed by May 17 and the report of the same be submitted to the court.

It also rejected the demand of the Muslim parties to remove advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra but appointed an additional commissioner and an assistant commissioner to assist Mishra in his work.

In its order, the court said that the survey work would be undertaken in the entire Gyanvapi Mosque, including the basement and the closed rooms.

The Muslim parties had objected to the survey work and contended that it was being done without there being any orders from the court in this regard. They had also sought removal of Ajai Mishra.

Five women had filed a petition in the court seeking permission for daily worship at the Shringar Gauri temple, which was allegedly situated inside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque premises. The order of the court for undertaking survey and videography at the premises came on their petition.

Another petition filed by one Vijay Shankar Rastogi, who had contended that the entire premises belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath and that the Gyanvapi Mosque was only a part of the Temple, was also pending in the court. The petition had been filed in 1991.

Rastogi has contended that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple had been built over two thousand years ago. The Temple had been demolished by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the petition claimed.

The premises had been a bone of contention between the two communities for the past several decades but there was renewed clamor to ''take back'' the Kashi Vishwanath Temple premises by the saffron outfits after the favourable decision of the apex court in the Ram Temple case.

The Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti (ABSS) had earlier asked the Muslims to ''hand over'' the Kashi Vishwanath Temple land in Varanasi on which, according to them, the Gyanvapi Mosque currently existed and had threatened to launch an agitation to "liberate" the same if it did not happen.

Some saffron leaders had even threatened to demolish the mosque what they termed the "blots" on the rich history of Hinduism and must be "removed" without delay.

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Published 12 May 2022, 08:57 IST

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