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Varanasi Court Orders Inspection Survey Outside Gyanvapi Mosque Adjacent To Kashi Vishwanathan Temple

The counsel for Delhi-based plaintiffs, on whose plea the court had ordered videography and survey of the mosque, said the team would conduct the survey inside the barricaded Gyanvapi Mosque complex area on Saturday.

Gyanvapi Mosque outside Kashi Vishwanathan Temple.
Gyanvapi Mosque outside Kashi Vishwanathan Temple. PTI

A court commissioner on Friday conducted videography and survey of some areas outside Gyanvapi Masjid in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex here on a Varanasi court’s orders.

The counsel for Delhi-based plaintiffs, on whose plea the court had ordered videography and survey of the mosque, said the team would conduct the survey inside the barricaded Gyanvapi Mosque complex area on Saturday.

Some Delhi women had moved a Varanasi court for permission to worship at Shringar Gauri temple adjacent to the mosque in the Kashi Vishwanathan Temple-Gyanvapi complex.

The counsel of the mosque arrangement committee, Abhay Nath Yadav, however, questioned the impartiality of the court-appointed commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra and said they would move the court for his removal.

After the completion of the videography survey, women plaintiff counsel Vishnu Shankar Jain said, "The court commissioner, in coordination with the district magistrate, has written that he would go inside the ‘barricading’ tomorrow for the survey.”

The time to go inside the barricaded portion of the complex for the survey has been fixed at three o'clock on Saturday, he said, adding the entire campus would be videographed and the commissioner would go inside the barricading in our presence.

Alleging that the walls of buildings to be taken up under the purview of the survey were scrapped, Yadav said the court had not given any order for digging or scraping and he was not satisfied with the work done today.

He, however, clarified that the videography-survey team did not go inside the Gyanvapi Masjid on Friday.

"The proceedings started at 4 pm and the platform which is on the west side of the mosque was videographed. After that, the commissioner tried to go inside by getting the entrance of Gyanvapi Masjid opened to which I protested and said the court has not given any order that videography should be done inside the mosque but the court commissioner claimed he has got an order to get the videography done by getting the lock opened," he said

“The truth is that there is no such order. Therefore, I directly question the impartiality of the court commissioner,” Yadav said.

"I have prepared an application stating that the behaviour of the commissioner is not fair. He is coming to act as a party and I have no faith in him. I will give an application to this effect to the court tomorrow and request to change the advocate commissioner" he said.

Earlier, on the orders of a court, Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra and others reached for the videography and survey work of Shringar Gauri and other deities located at the Kashi Vishwanath Dham-Gyanvapi complex.

Before the arrival of the team, a large crowd of devotees had gathered for Friday prayers.

Some youths also raised 'Har Har Mahadev' slogan evoking a reaction from some Muslim youths who too raised some religious slogans but the police promptly drove them away.

In the meantime, shutters of shops in the vicinity of Kashi Vishwanath Dham and Gyanvapi complex.

In the Shringar Gauri worship case, the court of Varanasi‘s Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar had on April 26 ordered videography of the Shringar Gauri temple in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi mosque complex and other places after Eid and before May 10.

To carry out its order, the court had appointed advocate Ajay Kumar as its commissioner.

But the Gyanvapi mosque’s management committee had announced to oppose the court order for the videography and survey inside the mosque’s premises, scheduled to be held on May 6 and 7.

"No one will be allowed to enter the mosque," S M Yasin, joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid, had said last week.

Around the time the survey was to start on Friday, a woman started offering Namaz at gate number four of Vishwanath Temple, prompting police to whisk her to the police station.

Police later said the woman was identified as Ayesha, a resident of Jaitpura, and is said to be mentally disturbed. 

Security on the Gyanvapi campus was beefed up in the early morning itself with heavy barricading in the area to regulate the movement of people in view of the court’s order for the videography, scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

S M Yasin said the team has arrived for the survey work. 

"Our opposition has been to the videography in the mosque area as it is prohibited and it is also not mentioned in the court order", Yasin added. 

The court had earlier ordered videography and survey of the religious place on a plea by Delhi-based Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others demanding permission for daily worship and performing rituals at Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi located on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

They had moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021.

They had also sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols. 

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