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Gyanvapi Mosque Row: Muslim Committee To Cooperate With ASI's Scientific, Non-Invasive Survey After SC Order

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order on an ASI survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, an exercise that the Muslim side said would 'reopen wounds of the past'.

Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi
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A day after Supreme Court refused to stay the scientific survey by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) inside Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi on Friday,  nod to the mosque's Muslim committee agreed to cooperate with ASI to determine if the mosque was built upon a temple.

It has been reported that the Masjid Committee will participate in the survey which resumes today.

According to the Joint Secretary of the Jamaat Committee Syed Mohammad Yasin, since this matter was in the Supreme Court, no one from the Masjid Committee previously participated in the survey. However, now that the Supreme Court has refused to stay the scientific survey of Gyanvapi mosque complex, the committee will cooperate.

SC gave nod to scientific survey by ASI

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order on an ASI survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, an exercise that the Muslim side says will “reopen wounds of the past”.

The bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, on Friday directed the ASI not to carry out any invasive act during the survey to find out if the 17the century mosque was built on a Hindu temple which ruled out excavations.

The Supreme Court nod came just hours after an ASI team had already resumed  the “detailed scientific survey” ordered by the Varanasi district court on  July 21.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee had challenged the district court’s order in the Allahabad High Court, which dismissed its petition on Thursday. The Muslim body  then quickly approached the Supreme Court.

On Friday, the Varanasi court also granted the ASI an additional month to complete the survey, extending its original deadline from Friday to September 4.

About the Gyanvapi Mosque Row

The Gyanvapi mosque row came to prominence after a group of women approached a lower court in Varanasi seeking permission from a Hindu deity in the mosque's complex on all days claiming a temple used to exist earlier.

Addressing the issue, the court ordered a video survey of the complex based on this petition in 2022.

An extensive survey led to the discovery of a structure which the petitioners claimed was a 'shivling' while, on the contrary, the mosque management committee claimed the structure was part of a fountain in the 'wazukhana'.

Considering the sensitivity of the case, the Supreme Court ordered the sealing of the alleged 'shivling' area.

In September 2022, the Varanasi district Court dismissed a challenge by the mosque committee, which argued that the women's request to worship Hindu deities inside the complex premises was not maintainable.

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