Controversial Inspection: ASI Commences Scientific Survey of Gyanvapi Mosque Complex!!

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has initiated a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The survey comes in the wake of a petition filed by the Hindu side seeking a “scientific survey” of the premises.

However, the mosque management committee has filed a petition against the inspection. The article delves into the details of the ongoing survey, the involved parties, and the court’s order, which adds to the existing controversy.

Commencement of the ASI Survey

On Monday morning, a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) set out to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi. The team arrived equipped with all the necessary equipment to begin the inspection.

In a video shared by the news agency ANI, a team of UP Police officers can be seen entering the Gyanvapi mosque complex as the ASI survey was beginning:

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Involved Parties and Controversy

The survey is taking place amidst a tense atmosphere, with various parties having a stake in the matter. There are around 40 members present during the survey, including ASI officials, four Hindu women plaintiffs, their counsels, and representatives of the Gyanvapi mosque management committee.

Notably, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee has boycotted the ASI survey, and its joint secretary SM Yasin asserted their non-participation.

The Varanasi district court ordered an extensive survey of the Gyanvapi mosque by the ASI to ascertain whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple.

The court deemed this scientific investigation as “necessary” to unveil the true facts surrounding the historical site:

However, the court also specified excluding the section that has remained sealed since the Supreme Court’s order in May 2022.

This sealed area is where Hindus claim a Shivling was found, while Muslims argue it is part of a fountain.

Previous Legal Developments

The petition for an ASI survey was filed in May by five women from the Hindu side. They had previously sought permission to pray at the “Shringar Gauri Sthal” within the mosque complex.

During a court-mandated survey in May 2022, a structure was discovered, claimed as a “Shivling” by the Hindu side and a “fountain” by the Muslim side.

Sohan Lal Arya, one of the petitioners in the Gyanvapi mosque case, expressed his satisfaction with the court’s order, considering the survey as the potential solution to the longstanding Gyanvapi issue.

However, the mosque management committee maintained that the structure in question is part of the water fountain mechanism at the “wazukhana.”

ASI Gyanvapi mosque survey Varanasi

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Conclusion

The ongoing ASI survey at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi has brought to the forefront a deeply contentious issue surrounding its historical origins.

With the involvement of multiple parties and differing claims, the scientific investigation aims to unearth the truth about the site’s past. The court’s order to conduct the survey, while excluding certain areas, adds complexity to the already sensitive situation.

As the survey progresses, authorities and stakeholders must exercise restraint and uphold the principles of justice and religious harmony.

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