Gyanvapi Masjid row: First round of survey complete; Videography done in Court Commissioner's presence

New Delhi:

Amid tight security, a court-appointed committee on Saturday morning completed the first round of survey of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi. The committee completed the survey, with videography, of two cellars in Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex in the first round. 

According to the court commissioner, the first round of survey was completed peacefully today. The committee will survey the upper rooms in Gyanvapi Masjid tomorrow.

52 people including the survey team and the plaintiff-respondent side were present in Gyanvapi complex during the survey .

Three rooms in the basement belonged to the Muslim side and were locked. The mosque management committee allowed the survey to be conducted by opening the locked rooms with the keys. The fourth room belonged to the Hindu side and had no door, so the survey was conducted without any hindrance.

The mosque management committee had earlier indicated that it would cooperate with a Varanasi court-entrusted team for now.

Last week, the survey was put on hold amid objections by the Masjid Committee, which claimed that the court-appointed Advocate Commissioner did not have the right to film inside the premises. The committee accused him of bias and petitioned to replace him.

The district court dismissed the petition and ordered completion of the work by May 17. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar also overruled the objections to the opening of two closed basements in the mosque premises for the survey.

After today’s survey in Gyanvapi Masjid, the statement of Hindu side has come to the fore. The Hindu side said that the evidence has been received as expected and the administration has got full cooperation.

The report of the Gyanvapi Mosque Survey has to be given to the Varanasi court by May 17. 

The court had earlier said that the locks should be broken if keys are not available to access certain areas of the premises for survey. It also asked district officials to register an FIR if attempts are made to sabotage the survey.

The Gyanvapi Masjid is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a Delhi-based group of women seeking permission for daily prayers in front of idols of Hindu deities on its outer walls.


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