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BIG WIN for Hindus: Varanasi court orders ASI survey of mosque located next to Kashi Vishwanath temple

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In a massive win for Hindus, a Varanasi court has ordered an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque which is located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, according to government counsel Rajesh Mishra, prompting celebration among the Hindu side.

However, the ‘wazukhana’, where a ‘shivling’ as claimed by the Hindu litigants exists, will not be part of the survey. That area has been sealed and the matter is in the Supreme Court.

The court of AK Vishvesh upheld the petition of a group of Hindu devotees seeking a scientific survey to determine if the mosque was built at the site of a Hindu temple.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, who was representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi mosque case, informed that the survey could be completed in three to six months.

“I have been informed that my application has been approved and the court has directed to conduct an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, excluding the Wazu tank which has been sealed. I think the survey can be completed within 3 to 6 months. We will participate in the ASI survey,” he said.

Advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, who also represented the Hindu party in the case, said, “Our application for the ASI survey has been accepted. It’s a turning point in the case.”

The petition was filed in May this year by five women who in another plea had earlier sought permission to pray at the “Shringar Gauri Sthal” inside the shrine complex. A structure — claimed to be a “Shivling” on one side and a “fountain” on the other side — was found on the mosque premises.

The Muslim side has objected to the ASI survey of the mosque, saying that it could damage the Gyanvapi complex. The Varanasi court has heard both the sides on July 14 and reserved its order after hearing.

The mosque management’s counsel Mohammed Tauhid Khan said it will challenge the order. “It is not acceptable and we will move to a higher court against it. This survey could cause damage to the mosque,” he said.

The Muslim side also denied the contention of the Hindu side that the Lord Adi Vishweshwar Temple temple was attacked and destroyed by a Muslim invader and Raja Tondal Mal restored the temple at the same place in 1580 AD.

“Neither Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was cruel, nor did he demolish any Lord Adi Vishweshwar Temple in Varanasi,” the Masjid committee said.

The committee also stated in its application that no Shivling was found last year inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises and the object was is actually a fauvara (fountain).

On May 16, 2022, a court-ordered videographic survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque was completed by a commission appointed by a local court.  During the survey proceedings, a structure claimed to be a “Shivalinga” by the Hindu side was found to be inside the mosque premises. 

The Muslim side has maintained that the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the ‘wuzukhana’ reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz. The Supreme Court, on May 19, told the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to not conduct carbon dating of the ‘Shivling’ till the next hearing on the matter.

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