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Rajiv Ranjan Tripathi | HENB | New Delhi | April 2021:: In a major development, Varanasi District court on Thursday allowed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex. The court also said that all expenses for the archeological survey to be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. The order was passed by the Court of Civil judge Senior Division, Varanasi Civil Court.
According to reports, the court has directed the Director General of ASI to form a five-member committee of experts, of which two should preferably from the minority community.
This comes after a petition was filed in 2019 by a local lawyer Vijay Shankar Rastogi, who had demanded that the land entailing the Gyanvapi Mosque be restored to Hindus. The petitioner claimed that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1669 pulled down a portion of the 2000-year-old Kashi Vishwanath temple to build the mosque in its place. The Gyanvyapi Mosque management committee had opposed the petition.
Reacting to this development, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said, “My hands are full for next twelve months: Restoring Gyan Vapi Kashi Vishvanath Temple at Varanasi and Declaration by Government of Ram Setu as National Heritage Monument. Later link the Setu to Ashok Vatika in Sri Lanka.”
Earlir, Dr. Swamy had filed a plea in the Supreme Court arguing that the Places of Worship Act 1991 is not only unconstitutional but is also void ab initio and against the basic structure of the Constitution.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, sought a response from the Centre on the fresh plea.
The plea cited the instance of Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. While Hindus are free to worship at other Jyotirlingas including Somnath in Gujarat, the kasha Vishwanath is still in bondage of Islamic invasion.
Two Years ago, in a TV talk Dr Swamy warned the Islamic propagandaists, “Give us three (Ayodhya-Kashi-Mathura) or otherwise ready for 30,000”!
The ASI will constitute 5 member committee, the latest non-invasive technology to be used for survey at mosque site.
The court in its order has also clarified that the superstructure of the mosque should not be affected because of the survey.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will use the latest technology including Ground Penetration Radar System and other techniques to conclude whether the structure that houses the Gyanvyapi mosque is a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple structure, whether it came into existence before or after the temple.
“The Muslim side will need to be fully informed of the survey activity. The practice of offering Namaz inside the mosque should not get hampered. Also, adequate camouflage should stay in place to maintain the sanctity of the process,” the court observed.
The surveyors have also been directed by the court to carry out the activity discreetly and not reveal the outcome or progress of the survey to the media and other individuals.
Also, no one other than the ASI will be allowed to photograph or profile the proceedings.
All expenses relating to the survey are to be borne by the government.
As per source, Gyanvyapi Mosque management committee and the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee along with Muslim Personal law Board and Sunni Waqf Board are preparing to knock the door of Allhabad High court again to challenge the order of the Varanasi district court for an archaeological survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex.
After the Ayodhya-Babri case verdict in 2019, the Hindu community strongly believes that Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi mosque land dispute case will also be solved.
Have a look at the chronology of events related to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex case:
1991 – The first petition in the case was filed in 1991 in Varanasi civil court by Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar and sought permission to worship in Gyanvapi complex. The petitioner placed three demands. First, the court should declare the entire Gyanvapi complex as a part of the Kashi temple. Second, Muslims should be evicted from the complex area and the mosque be demolished. Third, Hindus should be given permission to rebuild the temple.
1998 – Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had moved to the Allahabad High Court asserting that the mandir-masjid land dispute could not be adjudicated by a civil court as it was barred by the law. The high court stayed the proceedings in lower court which continued for the past 22 years.
December 2019 – Petitioner Rastogi had filed a plea on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in Varanasi district court, demanding an archeological survey of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex. He moved the plea in his capacity as the “next friend” of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar.
January 2020 – Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had strongly opposed the petition seeking ASI survey of the entire Gyanvapi complex.
February 2020 – The petitioner again approached the lower court with a petition, requesting to resume the hearing as the Allahabad High Court had not extended the stay further.
The petitioner believes that the original Jyotirling of Lord Vishwanath in Kashi (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) is in the Gyanvapi complex. It is being also claimed that in 1669 Aurangzeb destroyed a portion of the Kashi Vishwanath temple and built a mosque publicly known as Gyanvapi masjid.
Now, the petitioner wants the court to declare that Muslims have no right to occupy the Gyanvapi masjid site and their entry should be barred.
The defence side has always maintained that there was no temple there and the mosque is standing on the site from very beginning.
The prima facie evidences stand in favour of Hindus as anyone can see the Hindu relics of ancient temple just at the back portion of the Gyanvapi Mosque still guarded by the para-military/PAC personnel as Hindus can’t reach that portion to worship or the Muslims can’t reach that spot to destroy the evident Hindu remains of a temple which exactly prove that the mosque was built over a Hindu temple.
Inputs from Times Now and News 18.