Varanasi District Court Rejects ASI Survey Plea for Gyanvapi Mosque
Varanasi District Court Rejects ASI Survey Plea for Gyanvapi Mosque

Varanasi: The Varanasi District Court has dismissed a plea seeking an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey of the entire "Wuzukhana," excluding the "Shiva Linga" inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises.

District Judge AK Vishvesh, in denying the petition, stated that the Supreme Court has already directed the protection of the area where the "Shiva Linga" structure is said to have been discovered. Ordering the ASI to survey the "Wuzukhana" would contravene the Supreme Court's order. The Supreme Court's May 17, 2022, order instructed the Varanasi District Magistrate to ensure the protection of the place inside the Gyanvapi Mosque where the "Shiva Linga" was reportedly found.

Earlier, a Varanasi court had, on May 16, 2022, ordered the sealing of the place where the "Shiva Linga" was claimed to be discovered during a videography survey conducted by a court-appointed Advocate Commissioner. The Hindu side maintains that a structure found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey is a "Shiva Linga."

Conversely, the Muslim side disputes the Hindu claim, asserting that the structure found during the survey is a "Fountain." Presently, the ASI is conducting a scientific survey of the entire Gyanvapi Mosque premises, except for the "Wuzukhana," as directed by the Varanasi District Court. This survey aims to help determine whether a Hindu temple existed at the site.

The court's order for a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises stemmed from the pleas of five Hindu female worshippers who sought year-long worship rights within the Mosque complex. They argued that a scientific survey of the entire premises of the Gyanvapi Mosque was necessary to establish whether it was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple, asserting that the mosque was built over a pre-existing Hindu temple.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid's Committee, responsible for the Gyanvapi Mosque, had contested the district court's order in the Allahabad High Court and later in the Supreme Court, but their challenges were unsuccessful.

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