Survey underway at Gyanvapi Masjid complex for third day


PTI, May 16, 2022, 9:21 AM IST

A court-mandated videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex here began for the third consecutive day on Monday amid tight security, officials said.

Till Sunday, around 65 per cent of the survey was completed.

”The survey at the Gyanvapi Masjid complex has started,” Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma and Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh 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.

Yesterday, the DM had said that the survey work on Monday will begin at 8 am and all the parties have been directed to remain present.

”About 65 per cent of the survey work has been completed. The survey will continue on Monday as well. This is completely an archaeological survey work, since the advocates were not familiar with the survey work, the work took some time,” Madan Mohan Yadav, the counsel for the Hindu side in the case, had said on Sunday.

The survey was stalled last week amid objections by the mosque committee, which claimed that the advocate commissioner appointed by the court for the survey did not have the mandate to film inside the premises. In his order on Thursday last, District Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar had turned down a plea by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.

The judge also appointed two more advocates to help the court commissioner with the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.

The district court had said that locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. It also asked district authorities to register FIRs if the survey was not allowed.

The Supreme Court had on Friday last refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey. The top court, however, agreed to consider listing the plea of a Muslim party against the survey.

Advocate Yadav had said the three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers each from the two sides and an assistant besides a videography team will carry out the survey.

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