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Soumen Mahapatra | HENB | New Delhi | may 20, 2022:: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the District Magistrate of Varanasi that the area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex, where a ‘Shivling’ is reportedly found during the survey, should be protected. A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha heard the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid which manages the affairs of Gyanvapi mosque in the city and ordered that Muslims can continue offering ‘namaz’ thereinside the mosque without any impediment.
However, the apex court refused to stay the further proceedings before the civil judge, Varanasi who is hearing the lawsuit related to the Gyanvapi mosque.
The top court issued notices to petitioner Hindu devotees and scheduled the plea of the mosque committee for further hearing on May 19.
A local court in Varanasi on Monday had ordered the sealing of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found there during the court-mandated videography survey. However, a mosque management committee member disputed the claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the wazookhana reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.
The Varanasi court ordered district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma “to seal the area and prohibit the entry of any person to the area.” In its order, the court said the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area.
Varanasi Court Removes Advocate Commissioner Ajay Mishra
Meanwhile, a Varanasi court, which had ordered the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, has removed advocate commissioner Ajay Mishra on grounds of non-cooperation. It is also reported that a videographer deployed by Adv Mishra allegedly leaked some survey videos before its official submission to the court. The court also gave two more days to the commission to submit the survey report. “Ajay Mishra, the advocate commissioner has been removed by the court,” assistant advocate commissioner Ajay Pratap Singh told PTI.
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 and idols wherever found in the mosque.
A local court on Monday ordered the sealing of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found there during the court-mandated videography survey. A mosque management committee member disputed the claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the wazookhana reservoir – where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.
A senior Varanasi official had told news agency PTI that the structure is located in the middle of the wazookhana pond that is about 30 feet by 30 feet across. The pond is already barricaded with an iron net and covered from the top by a tin shed. There are three doors that lead to the pond.
The counsels representing the Hindu petitioners and the mosque committee had accompanied the team conducting the survey. According to a Hindu representative, some water was drained out to expose the structure.
Mosque committee member Syed Mohammad Yasin questioned the classification of the object in the wazookhana pond as Shivling. “All mosques built during the Mughal era had fountains at the ‘wazookhana’. Like other mosques, a green stone was also fixed at the fountain of the Gyanvapi mosque, which is being termed a Shivling.”
But, Adv Vishnu Jain, one of the lawyers of the Hindu petitioners told the media that a Shivling was found inside the well allegedly to be 12 feet by 8 inches in diameter.
It is not understandable why an big antique stone was placed in a tank/well used for ablution (wazoo) purpose where no mechanism of a fountain was found as claimed by the Mosque management.
__With inputs from PTI.