ASI seeks four weeks extension from MP High Court to submit survey report on disputed Bhojshala site

Initially, the report was due on April 29 but, the court granted an extension till July 2 on ASI's plea.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 14:24 IST

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Bhopal: The Archeological Survey of India (ASI), on Tuesday, has sought further extension of 4 weeks from the Indore bench of MP High Court, to submit its scientific survey report on the disputed Bhojshala-Kamal Maula Mosque site. The matter is now listed for regular hearing from July 4.

Initially, the report was due on April 29 but, the court granted an extension till July 2 on ASI's plea.

According to sources, the advocate who appeared on behalf of ASI has sought a time extension of 3 to 4 weeks to submit its scientific survey report.

The disputed Bhojshala structure in Dhar district has taken a legal recourse amid ownership rights being claimed by two factions.

The Indore bench of MP High Court, while hearing a petition filed by Hindu Front for Justice (HFJ) representative Gopal Verma had ordered ASI to conduct a scientific survey in line with Gyanwapi on March 11.

The ASI was directed to conduct a scientific survey by a five-member team of experts and submit its report within 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, sources have disclosed that the Muslim front is set to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the scientific survey and raise the issue of contempt for violation of Apex Court’s guidelines. Dhar city cleric Waqar Sadiq has alleged that the entrance porch (Otle) on both sides of the main gate was removed.

Earlier the Apex Court while refusing to stay the survey order by High Court after hearing the plea of Muslim petitioner, also directed not to take any action without permission on the outcome of the ASI study/fact finding report.

The survey has been conducted to establish the true nature of the disputed complex. According to reports, nearly 1710 relics collected by ASI during scientific study (including excavation) of the disputed structure belonged to Hindu Gods/Goddesses. Idols of Vagdevi (Saraswati), Mahishasur Mardini, Ganesh, Krishna, Mahadev, Brahma and Hanuman.

On the other hand, Muslim petitioner Abdul Samad has claimed that Arabic-Persian inscription and coins found inside the structure dates back to Mughal period.

In the wake of the disputed structure, the two sides (Hindu as well Muslims) were allowed permission to offer prayers and Namaz within designated slots/periods. Hindus are allowed to worship inside the Bhojshala complex every Tuesday, while Muslims are allowed to offer Namaz at the site on Fridays. Hindus believe Bhojshala to be the temple of Goddess Vagdevi (Saraswati), while the Muslim community claims that it has always been a mosque.

Sources also confirmed that during scientific study works such as excavation, measurement mapping, sketching, videography, photography etc were carried out by the team. The ASI reportedly found pillar, stairs, metal coins, Gaumukh, inscription and relics during the survey. The team also removed the soil from the sanctum sanctorum and back of Bhojshala.

According to historical fact check, Bhojshala is a historic architectural structure located in Dhar district of MP. The name is derived from celebrated king Bhoja of the Parmar dynasty of central India, a Patron of education and arts, to whom major Sanskrit works on poetics, yoga and architecture are attributed. The architectural parts of the building are of different periods but mainly date back to the 12th century; the Islamic domed tombs in the wider campus were added between the 14th and 15th century.

Bhojshala is presently a monument of national importance protected by the ASI under the Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, otherwise known as AMASR Act.

Published 02 July 2024, 14:24 IST

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