ASI team begins day-3 of survey at Gyanvapi mosque premises

Possibility of radar usage today

Varanasi: A team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials reached at the Gyanvapi mosque here on Sunday morning to continue the scientific survey of the complex.

A heavy police force was also deployed in the area before arrival of the ASI team.

Lawyers said that the primary stage of the court-ordered survey has been finished and the secondary stage will begin today with “machines” including radars.

MS Education Academy

Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, an advocate representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case, said, “The third day of the survey will begin today. The primary stage has finished and the secondary stage will begin today. Machineries will also be used.”

Sudhir Tripathi, another advocate representing the Hindu side said, “Today is the third day of the survey. Several machines including Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) were used yesterday and there is a possibility that radars might be used today. We are satisfied with the survey and the Muslim side has no complaints and they also cooperating.”

The scientific survey of the complex , adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, excluding Wuzu Khana, began on Friday, following Allahabad High Court’s order, which allowed the ASI to conduct the survey, to determine if the mosque was built on a pre-existing temple.

Earlier on Saturday, during the second day of the survey, Advocate Tripathi said that the scientific survey will clear everything.

“It is the second day of the survey. We want people to cooperate in the survey and get it completed as soon as possible. We are showing full cooperation and involvement. They have come at the direction of the Supreme Court. We welcome it. We want the matter to be resolved soon. The survey will clarify everything,” the lawyer said.

Allahabad High Court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by the Muslim party, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, challenging the Varanasi court order allowing the ASI to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, except the ‘Wazukhana’ area where a “Shivling” was claimed to have been found last year.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had challenged the Varanasi District Judge’s July 21 order.

On July 21, Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha ordered the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi complex on an application moved by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023.

The order of the district judge, however, excluded the Wuzu Khana (ablution pond area) of the complex, which has been sealed on the order of the Supreme Court.

Earlier on Friday, Supreme Court declined to stay the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that ASI has clarified that the entire survey would be completed without any excavation and without causing any damage to the structure.

The entire process of scientific survey shall be concluded with non-invasive methodology, the bench ordered.

“We reiterate the direction of the High Court that there shall be no excavation,” said the Supreme Court.

The bench noted that Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court took note of the affidavit of ASI that it is not carrying out any excavation during its survey and no part of wall etc. will be touched.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has challenged the Allahabad High Court order allowing ASI to conduct scientific survey by ASI of the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

During the hearing, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmad appearing for mosque committee objected to the survey saying if someone now comes and files a frivolous plea saying that there is a monument below this structure, will the court order ASI survey?

To this CJI DY Chandrachud replied, “What is frivolous to you is faith to other side.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for Uttar Pradesh said ASI affidavit before the High Court says no drilling, cutting of stone will be done from the existing structure, no wall or structure will be damaged and it will be done by the non-destructive method.

Huzefa said when you conduct survey, it is like uncovering wounds of the past and that is what Places of Worship Act sought to injunct. “You are unravelling wounds of past here,” he said.

Justice Pardiwala told Huzefa that despite assuring that there will be no harm to the structure, you are opposed to the survey.

“This survey will be in form of a report. Tomorrow, if you succeed on maintainability, it will just be a piece of paper. Let the survey be undertaken by the ASI,” Justice Pardiwala said.

Back to top button