Monday, April 22, 2024

Day 2 of Gyanvapi Mosque survey: Will continue tomorrow

The videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi was carried out for the second consecutive on Sunday amid tight security. The survey will resume tomorrow between 10 am to 12 noon, the court-appointment committee said. 

The Varanasi court has ordered the completion of the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque and the submission of a detailed report before it by May 17.

It is pertinent to mention here that the survey was stalled last week amidst 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.

Though the committee members did not divulge details of the survey, sources claim that the team discovered soil in the fifth basement of the complex. The team suspects that soil was recently brought inside the complex to obliterate the evidence. Committee members have raised suspicion over the use of white cement to ‘destroy’ idols on the premises, sources added. 

On Saturday, videography of two basements was completed using special cameras. The first survey was conducted near the frill on the ground floor, sources said. The surveyors were not allowed to enter with mobile phones. Snake charmers were also called after learning about the presence of snakes in the complex.

Row over Gyanvapi survey

The Gyanvapi mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the two monuments share the same complex. Last month, a Varanasi local court had ordered a videography survey of the Masjid complex following a suit filed by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before idols located on its outer walls. The survey, which had been halted due to opposition from the mosque authorities, resumed on Saturday following a local court order.

At least 40% of the videography survey was completed on Saturday amid tight security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident. Barricades were placed to block the movement of vehicles and all surveyors were strictly instructed to keep their mobile phones outside the mosque premises. Shops within an approximate radius of 500 m from the mosque remained closed until day 1 of the survey concluded.

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