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Piyush Raina | HENB | Varanasi | May 14, 2022:: A court-mandated survey and videography at Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple began today amid tight security and restrictions near the complex.
The survey was carried out for four hours today and is expected to continue tomorrow too – the Varanasi court has asked for a report by Tuesday.
Though videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi resumed on Saturday amid tight security arrangements and the survey work went on in a peaceful manner, it will continue on Sunday.
“The survey work went on in a peaceful manner. And, there has been no objection from anyone. Everything is normal and conducive, and all parties co-operated,” Police Commissioner of Varanasi A Satish Ganesh said.
The mosque management committee had indicated that it will cooperate for now with the team assigned the task by a local court. The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.
An important meeting was held with all parties concerned on Friday and an appeal was made to them to cooperate in the commission’s work and the maintenance of law and order. Lawyers representing the Hindu and Muslim sides were present at the meeting held on Friday by the district magistrate.
The survey was stalled last week amid objections by the mosque committee on May 6, which claimed that the advocate commissioner did not have the mandate to film inside the premises. The committee accused him of bias and filed a plea for his replacement. In its order on Thursday, the district court said locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey.
“The court-mandated survey began from 8 am till 12 noon. All authorised persons — all parties, their advocates, court commissioners and videographers — were present. Officials from the state government, police commissioner and members of the temple Trust were also present. The survey work went on in a peaceful manner. After a four-hour survey we managed to cover 50 per cent of the premises, we cannot disclose which portions were surveyed and what we found,” District Magistrate of Varanasi Kaushal Raj Sharma said in a video statement.
More than 1,500 policemen and PAC jawans were deployed as part of the security arrangement, news agency PTI reported.
The movement of people was stopped at a distance of 500 metres from the Gyanvapi complex.
__Input from PTI, India TV, Zee News and NDTV.