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Hind Pratap Bharti | HENB | Varanasi | May 11, 2022:: A court in Varanasi will deliver its verdict tomorrow in the case related to the inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The court had ordered an inspection in April this year on petitions by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi. The site is currently opened for prayers once a year . The women also want permission to pray to other “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”. The local court had earlier directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10.
The survey started last Friday but has not been fully completed because of a dispute over videography inside the mosque. The caretaker committee of the Gyanvapi mosque and its lawyers have said they are opposed to any videography inside the mosque. But the lawyers for the petitioners have claimed they had the court’s go-ahead.
The court will also decide tomorrow whether to replace the commissioner overseeing the survey and whether videography will be permitted inside the mosque.
“The role of the court-appointed commissioner is biased and there is no such order by the court to enter into the mosque,” Abhay Nath Yadav, the Lawyer for the Gyanvapi Mosque management committee told the media.
“In an earlier case, a civil judge has declared the mosque to be a property of Muslims. No plaintiff has sought removal of the mosque,” Mr Yadav added.
Subhash Ranjan Chaturvedi, Lawyer for women petitioners said he is hopeful the court will order a survey inside the mosque too.
“How can you decide anything without a proper survey,” Mr Chaturvedi told NDTV.
When asked if any survey inside the mosque would not be in violation of the Places of Worship Act that provides for status quo at all places of worship as per their status on Aug 15, 1947, Mr Chaturvedi said, “the places of worship act does not apply there. You are saying it’s a mosque, we can say it’s a temple. Let it be decided it is a mosque, then the act will apply.”
Ahead of the crucial hearing on the Shringar Gauri temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex on Wednesday, Times Now has accessed photographs of the masjid complex which show Hindu symbols and idols claimed to be hidden in the masjid basement.
Speaking exclusively to Times Now, Vishnu Jain, the petitioner said that the exclusive photographs are clinching evidence of the argument put up by the petitioners. He said that the arguments in the court will be supported by the photographs as they prove the case that there is a temple beneath the mosque structure.
“The Muslim side has moved the court asking that the judge should visit the site. The court will look into the request. In the Ram Janmabhoomi case as well as a civil judge visited the site in 1985. If the Muslims are saying that the court should visit the spot, we will also support that,” Jain said.
He further added that the petitioners have moved the court seeking directions to enter the site. Whenever the survey starts, there should be no ambiguity in the order – he added.
The images, clicked by senior journalist Ramprasad Singh in Kashi in the 90s, show that there is a Shiv Ling in the complex. There also exists a Ram Katha Mandap, the western gate, referred to as Shringar Mandap which also has symbols of lotus, Swastika, and other representations of the Nagar style of architecture.
Masjid authorities have been objecting to the videographic survey of the masjid in the complex. On Tuesday, the hearing in the matter remained non-conclusive as the Muslim side argued that advocate Ajay Kumar Mishra, who has been appointed as the court commissioner for the survey of the Shringar Gauri temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex be removed as he is ‘biased’ towards the Hindu side.
Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar had earlier ordered a survey of the complex after five women petitioners approached the court seeking permission to worship the deities located on the western wall of the mosque.
__Inputs from NDTV & Times Now.