Mosque Committee Cooperates; Survey Of 2 Basements Complete

Story Highlights
  • The videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi resumed today.
  • Supreme Court refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey.
  • The mosque management committee is cooperating for now with the team assigned.

Varanasi: The court-appointed committee completed its survey and videography of two basements in the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex after the exercise resumed on Saturday morning amid tight security arrangements. Three rooms in the basements belonging to the Muslim side were locked. The mosque management committee opened the sealed rooms with keys and allowed the survey to be undertaken. The fourth room belonged to the Hindu side and had no door, so the survey was conducted without impediment.

The mosque management committee had earlier indicated that it will cooperate for now with the team assigned the task by a Varanasi court. Last week, the survey was stalled amid objections by the mosque committee, which claimed that the advocate commissioner appointed by the court did not have the mandate to film inside the premises. The committee accused him of bias and filed a plea for his replacement. The district court, however, rejected the plea and ordered the completion of the task by May 17th.

Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar also dismissed objections to the opening of the two closed basements in the mosque complex for the survey. The court said locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. It also asked the district authorities to register FIRs if attempts are made to scuttle the exercise.

The Gyanvapi mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a petition by a Delhi-based group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols of Hindu deities on its outer walls.

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