New Delhi: The Hindu plaintiffs in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi case have moved an application before the Supreme Court seeking directions to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to survey the ‘Shivling’ and entire ‘wazukhana’ (ablution pond) area of the mosque area – which had remained sealed since May 2022.
In October 2022, the Varanasi District Judge rejected the application filed by Hindu side for conducting scientific survey of Shivlingam, mainly on the ground that there is an order of sealing passed by the Supreme Court.
“The survey of the entire premises has been conducted except the sealed area by ASI and now it is necessary that the sealed area be also surveyed by ASI, otherwise, the very purpose of survey would be frustrated as there will be no report of ASI regarding the area under seal,” said the application filed before the apex court.
The application filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain said that the plaintiffs and the Hindus, in general, have every right to have darshan and perform pooja of the deity as Shivlingam is an object of worship for Hindus and devotees of Lord Shiva.
It said that to establish the truth in the matter, whether the object found is Shivlingam or a fountain, a scientific survey of the entire sealed area, including Shivalingam, is required to be carried out by the ASI.
“To meet the ends of justice, the ASI may further be directed to conduct a survey in the entire sealed area and also of the Shivlingam as to whether the same is a fountain or not,” the application said.
The Muslim party claims that the object found in May 2022 during the videographic survey is not Shivlingam but a fountain.
Recently, the Archaeological Survey of India in its report filed before the district court found evidence of a Hindu temple after surveying the mosque complex (excluding the ‘wazukhana’).
The top court on January 16 had asked the district administration to supervise the cleaning of the sealed area after the Hindu plaintiffs moved an application saying that a putrid smell coming from the water tank due to the presence of dead fish.
“Since there exists a Shivlingam which is sacred to Hindus, it should be kept away from all dirt, grime, dead animals, etc. and it must be in a clean condition. It is currently in the midst of dead fish which is hurtful to the sentiments of the devotees of Lord Shiva,” the application had said.
Hindu plaintiffs had instituted a suit in Varanasi court demanding the right of unhindered worship at the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal. However, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee refutes the claim that the mosque was built over a temple, maintaining the structure at the spot was always a mosque.