The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recommenced its survey of the historic Gyanvapi mosque on the third day, aiming to investigate whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over an existing structure. However, the survey has been marred by controversy, with the Muslim side warning of a potential boycott in response to rumors circulating about the discovery of Hindu religious symbols and artifacts.
Government counsel Rajesh Mishra confirmed that survey work resumed on Sunday at approximately 8:00 am and is scheduled to continue until 5:00 pm. According to Sudhir Tripathi, one of the advocates representing the Hindu side, advanced techniques such as Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and other specialized machinery were utilized during the survey on Saturday, leaving them satisfied with the progress so far, as a reported by PTI.
On the other hand, Syed Mohammad Yasin, the Joint Secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Committee, which manages the mosque, reported that the Muslim side and its advocates participated in the survey for the second consecutive day on Sunday. However, the Muslim side had boycotted the survey on Friday due to concerns over its nature.
Yasin expressed concern about the spread of unfounded rumors during the survey. He alleged that certain media outlets propagated stories claiming the discovery of idols, 'trishul' (trident), and 'kalash' (holy pot) in the 'tahkhaanaa' (basement) during the survey on Saturday. In response, he issued a warning that if such actions were not curtailed, the Muslim side might once again boycott the survey.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had declined to stay the Allahabad High Court order, which authorized the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, despite the Muslim side's fears that it could reopen past wounds. The bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, directed the ASI to refrain from carrying out any invasive acts during the survey.