VARANISI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) commenced the survey of Varanasi's Gyanvapi Mosque at 9 am on a Saturday morning. This survey aims to determine if the 17th-century mosque was built over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The exercise was ordered by the Allahabad High Court, a move that has caused concern among the Muslim community as it may "reopen wounds of the past." Despite the plea to halt the survey, the Supreme Court refused to intervene, allowing the ASI team to proceed. However, the court has instructed that no invasive actions are to be taken during the survey.
Here are the top 10 updates on the ASI survey of Gyanvapi Mosque:
A team of experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) arrived at the Gyanvapi Mosque Complex in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on a Saturday morning to begin the survey, which kicked off at 9 AM.
Advocate Sudhir Tripathi, representing the Hindu side, urged people to cooperate with the survey process and expedite its completion. He expressed full support for the survey, which was mandated by the Supreme Court, believing that it would provide clarity on the matter.
Gyanvapi Mosque, located in Varanasi, a sacred city for Hindus and a parliamentary constituency represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been a subject of contention. Some Hindus claim that the mosque stands on the ruins of a Hindu temple demolished during Aurangzeb's reign. The Hindu litigants have mentioned the existence of a 'shivling' at the mosque's 'wazu khana.' However, the court has exempted this area from the survey.
Yesterday, a team of 40-45 ASI officials commenced the survey at the Gyanvapi Mosque complex at 7 AM, as reported by Hindu side lawyer Mishra. The survey is expected to continue for an extended period.
The Allahabad High Court granted permission for the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct the survey at Gyanvapi Mosque, dismissing the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the mosque. The complex is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
On July 21, Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha ordered the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi complex based on the application submitted by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023.
The Supreme Court also granted permission for the ASI's scientific survey at the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, making it the third court to allow the survey. This survey aims to determine whether the 17th-century structure was built upon a pre-existing temple.
A Varanasi court recently granted an additional four weeks to the Archaeological Survey of India to complete the scientific survey of Gyanvapi Mosque, located beside the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), called for the enforcement of the Places of Worship Act at all places of worship in the country.
The Muslim body, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, responsible for managing the Gyanvapi Mosque, believes that the survey violates the provisions of a 1991 Indian law protecting places of worship.
The ongoing survey of Gyanvapi Mosque continues to be a matter of significance and sensitivity, with various stakeholders sharing their views and opinions. The outcome of the survey is eagerly awaited by all parties involved, as it holds the potential to shed light on the historical context and address the concerns surrounding the site.