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Gyanvapi Row: Allahabad High Court Allows ASI To Conduct Survey

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.

Gyanvapi Mosque
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Rejecting the Gyanvapi mosque committee's challenge, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday allowed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the mosque complex in Varanasi. On July 27, Chief Justice Pritinker Diwakar had reserved its order on the committee's petition till August 3 after hearing the counsels for both parties.

"Allahabad HC has said that ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque complex to start. Sessions court order upheld by HC",said Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in Gyanvapi survey case.

Responding to the Allahabad High Court's verdict, the Hindu side advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi said, "The survey report by ASI will decide the fate of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. It will be quite significant."

When asked about her stand on the high court's verdict, BJP MP from Mathura, Hema Malini said, "The decision should come as soon as possible otherwise talks keep happening. It will be good for the country if the final decision comes soon."

"We abide by the Constitution and judiciary. We all should follow the decision of the judiciary. Everyone should respect whatever is the result of (ASI) survey," says UP minister Dharmveer Prajapati on Allahabad High Court's verdict allowing ASI survey at #Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi.

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah says, "Be it a mandir or a mosque, god is one. You can either see him (god) in a mandir or a mosque..."

All about the survey

On July 21, a Varanasi court directed the ASI o conduct a survey to determine if the mosque was built at a place where a temple existed earlier. The court's direction also included excavations, wherever necessary.

The ASI had started the survey On July 24.

However, after the mosque committee approached the Supreme Court, the process was halted within hours, allowing time for the committee to appeal against the lower court's order.

While approaching the apex court, the counsel for the mosque committee had expressed concerns over possible damages to the structure that the survey and excavation would cause.

The Centre has assured the Supreme Court that the survey will not alter the structure in any way.

Plea filed in Allahabad HC

Seeking protection of "Hindu signs and symbols" in the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi, a plea has been filed by Rakhi Singh, one of the petitioners in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri case, in the Allahabad High Court.

The PIL claims proibition of the non-Hindus from entering the premises till the verdict of the Varanasi court is delivered in the Shringar Gauri case.

It also demands that and orders should be given to protect Hindu symbols found within the Gyanvapi premises.

The matter has been scheduled for hearing on August 7.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Intezamia Masjid Committee, Mohammad Yasin, said that they have not yet received a copy of the new petition.

"Once we receive the copy of the petition, our legal team will prepare its reply," he said.

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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