Gyanvapi mosque's videography report delayed; Court removes committee head from project

Gyanvapi Masjid
View of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Dham and Gyanvapi Masjid complex, in Varanasi, Saturday, May 14, 2022. Photo: PTI

A Varanasi court on Tuesday removed Advocate-Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra from the court-appointed committee that was formed to survey the Gyanvapi Mosque.

The Court also granted two days to the committee to submit the report on the survey and videography undertaken by it.

Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar passed the order.

The judge had on Monday ordered the sealing of the area within the Mosque complex from where a shivling was recovered during the survey.

The civil court passed the order in a suit filed by Hindu parties claiming that the Gyanvapi Mosque houses idols of Hindu Gods, owing to which fact Hindus should be allowed to worship and do puja at the site.

The order was passed after counsel for the plaintiff Harishankar Jain contended that a shivling has been recovered after the survey and the area should be sealed immediately.

The report of the Advocate-Commissioner in this regard is yet to be submitted before the court.

The suit before the Court by one Rakhi Singh and others has sought a declaration that their right to profess religion as guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution is being breached.

It was claimed that there are deities such as Maa Gauri, Lord Ganesh and Hanuman etc at the site and that Hindus should be allowed to enter the site and offer their prayers and perform pooja and offer bhog to their deities.

The civil judge after hearing the contentions had passed an order on August 18, 2021 appointing an Advocate-Commissioner. The judge had also ordered the Commissioner to visit the site and inspect and collect evidence as to whether the deities exist at the site. The Commissioner was further given liberty to seek police assistance in case of any disturbance or resistance to the collection of evidence by videography.

This order was challenged before Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the appeal on April 21.

Subsequently, the Masjid Committee filed a plea before the lower court claiming that the Court Commissioner was biased and should be replaced.

The same was dismissed on Thursday last week, paving the way for the survey to take place.

(With inputs from IANS)

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