‘Hindu temple existed before…’: Gyanvapi Mosque case takes fresh turn as ASI releases survey report

According to advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, the ASI has concluded that there existed a large Hindu Temple prior to the construction of the existing structure in the Gyanvapi mosque case.

Livemint
First Published25 Jan 2024
The area of 'wazukhana' was sealed in 2022 following a Supreme Court order after discovering what was said to be a 'Shivling'.
The area of ’wazukhana’ was sealed in 2022 following a Supreme Court order after discovering what was said to be a ’Shivling’.

The Gyanvapi mosque case took a fresh turn this week with eleven people applying for copies of the ASI report. Lawyers representing the Hindu side insist that they will be "on the verge of victory' once the survey clarifies the Shivling-fountain debate. Earlier this week, the Varanasi court had asked the Archaeological Survey of India to make the report public and provide hard copies to both sides.

“The ASI has said that there existed a large Hindu Temple prior to the construction of the existing structure. This is the conclusive finding of the ASI...” said advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain.

A structure found on the premises during a court-mandated survey of the building located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple is at the centre of the conflict. The Hindu side claims that it is a 'Shivling' while the Muslim side has dubbed it a fountain. The 'Wazu' area was sealed in 2022 following a Supreme Court order after discovering the purported Shivling. 

The Archaeological Survey of India carried out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises following a district court order passed in July 2023. The ASI had sought to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

In January this year the apex court had allowed an application by women Hindu petitioners that sought direction for cleaning the entire 'wazukhana' area of the Gyanvapi mosque.

“As of now, the 'wazu' area is sealed. The area has been cleaned. Its custody is with the Varanasi District Magistrate right now. I can say we will be on the verge of victory after the ASI survey report comes in. I am confident that we will be able to see the day when Gyanvapi will be free of this illegal encroachment,” Jain told ANI earlier on Thursday.

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added.

Eleven people, including from both the Hindu and Muslim side, applied for copies of the ASI survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex adjoining the Kashi Vishwanath temple here on Thursday, counsel for the Hindu litigants said.

The applicants are likely to get the report either on Thursday or Monday after a scrutiny of the applications, Hindu side counsel Madan Mohan Yadav said.

Following an order of the district court passed on July 21 last year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi Mosque case, said on Thursday that they will be on the verge of victory after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey report comes in.

Vishnu Jain told ANI that the ASI survey report will

Meanwhile, the Varanasi district court on Wednesday asked that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report be made public today and the hard copy be provided to both sides.

After the court's direction, advocate Hari Shankar Jain, the counsel for the Hindu side, claimed that "there is evidence to show that the mandir was demolished to make way for the construction of the mosque."

Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Advocate Jain said, "A lot of objections were raised to making the ASI report public. However, after hearing the arguments on both sides, the learned court ruled in favour of making the report available for both parties. The report will be made public and everyone will get to know what's in it."

On January 16, the Supreme Court allowed an application by women Hindu petitioners seeking direction for cleaning the entire area of 'wazukhana' of the Gyanvapi mosque where the alleged 'Shivling' was found and ensuring that the space in question was in a 'hygienic' state.

The area of 'wazukhana' was sealed in 2022 following a Supreme Court order after discovering what was said to be a 'Shivling'.

The structure, which was claimed to be a 'Shivling' by the Hindu side and a 'fountain' by the Muslim side, was found in the mosque premises on May 16, 2022, during a court-mandated survey of the building located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The 'Wazu' area is at the centre of the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute in the case, with both sides staking claim to the structure discovered during the court-mandated survey. (ANI)

Varanasi, Jan 25 (PTI) Eleven people, including from both the Hindu and Muslim side, applied for copies of the ASI survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex adjoining the Kashi Vishwanath temple here on Thursday, counsel for the Hindu litigants said.

The applicants are likely to get the report either on Thursday or Monday after a scrutiny of the applications, Hindu side counsel Madan Mohan Yadav said.

Following an order of the district court passed on July 21 last year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

"Till afternoon, 11 persons have applied from both sides for copies of ASI survey report," Yadav said.

Yadav said advocates representing the five petitioners from the Hindu side, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee, Kashi Vishwanath Trust, the state government, the chief secretary, the home secretary and the Varanasi district magistrate have applied for the copy of the survey report.

On Wednesday, District Judge A K Vishvesh ruled that the ASI survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex will be given to both the Hindu and Muslim sides.

After hearing the matter, Judge Vishvesh said both the parties to the suit must be provided copies of the survey report filed by the ASI in the court so that they can file objections against it.

The court also allowed the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust, Varanasi DM and the state's home secretary to get a copy of the ASI survey report.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by Rakhi Singh and others.

The survey was ordered by the court after the Hindu petitioners claimed the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing temple. The ASI had submitted its survey report to the district court in a sealed cover on December 18.

(With inputs from agencies)

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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