Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Gyanvapi case: Muslim side submits objection to ASI investigation of entire mosque premises

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On Monday, the Muslim side filed written objections with the Varanasi District Court on the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) study of the whole Gyanvapi mosque premises.

The next hearing on the matter has been scheduled on July 7. Last Tuesday, a petition was filed in a court here requesting an Archaeological assessment of India (ASI) assessment of the full Gyanvapi complex, rather than just the “shivling” as mandated by the Allahabad High Court.

The court also gave the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee until May 19 to present objections to the Hindu side’s new plea. The Masjid Committee was also given a copy of the application.

The plea was filed after the Allahabad High Court directed the ASI to conduct a scientific assessment of the supposed shivling-like structure discovered by the ASI last year in the Gyanvapi complex.

Afterward, the Hindu side added a new demand to perform a survey of the entire complex rather than just the’shivling’. Vishnu Shankar Jain, a Supreme Court lawyer, has asked for a study of the whole region on behalf of six petitioners.

“We had filed an application that the whole premises of the alleged mosque should be surveyed using Ground Penetrating Radar. Today, District Court, Varanasi has directed Anjuman Intezamia, UP govt to file its objection in court by May 19, next hearing May 22,” the advocate for the Hindu side Vishnu Shankar Jain told media.

The petition was submitted on behalf of Ram Prasad Singh, Mahant Shiv Prasad Pandey, Lakshmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak.

Allahabad High Court authorized ASI for Carbon Dating of the alleged ‘Shivling’

The Allahabad High Court on Friday authorized the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to undertake carbon dating on a supposed ‘Shivling’ discovered during a survey in the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.

The ‘Wazukhana’ of the Gyanvapi mosque is at the heart of the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple conflict between Hindus and Muslims since the Hindus say a ‘Shivling’ has been discovered there, while the Muslim side claims it is merely a water fountain.

Back on May 20, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the matter involving prayer at Gyanvapi mosque be transferred from the civil judge to the Varanasi district judge. In an interim decision issued on May 17, 2022, the Supreme Court instructed officials to secure the ‘Wazu’ region where the ‘Shivling’ was allegedly discovered and gave Muslims access to namaz.

Although the Supreme Court on Friday postponed the “scientific survey,” including carbon dating, of a “Shivling” purported to have been discovered at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during a videographic study last year.

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