“Hindu side urges patience as ASI conducts Gyanvapi mosque survey in Varanasi; top updates available.”

A group of lawyers has reported that the initial phase of the court-ordered survey of the Gyanvapi mosque has concluded, and the subsequent phase, which involves the use of machinery like radars, is currently in progress.

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A team consisting of 55 members from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) resumed their scientific assessment of the Gyanvapi mosque complex on a Sunday morning. Their goal is to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed atop a pre-existing Hindu temple structure. In anticipation of the ASI team’s arrival, a substantial police force was deployed to the area.

Legal representatives revealed that the primary stage of the court-mandated examination of the Gyanvapi complex has been completed, while the secondary stage, involving the deployment of “machines,” including ground penetrating radar equipment, is presently underway. The survey temporarily halted at 12:30 pm to accommodate Muslim worshippers’ prayers within the mosque.

Key highlights from the ongoing ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex:

Lawyers Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain and Advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case, are actively participating in the survey.

Advocate Jain expressed, “We appreciate your patience. This marks the fourth day of the survey. The ASI is meticulously executing its task. We employed the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) yesterday, and we will soon employ the ground penetrating radar machine for further study. We are content with the progress, and the Muslim side is also cooperating harmoniously.”

The scientific investigation of the complex, situated near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, resumed on Friday, following a directive from the Allahabad High Court. The court granted ASI permission to undertake the survey, aiming to ascertain whether the mosque was built upon a pre-existing temple.

Advocate Anupam Dwivedi, representing plaintiff number 1 Rakhi Singh, explained that the current ASI survey significantly differs from the one conducted by an advocate commissioner in the previous year (May 2022). Unlike the earlier survey that solely documented visible elements, the ASI’s scientific approach involves evidence collection without causing harm or excavation.

The ASI team is anticipated to carry out the survey under the mosque’s domes on Sunday. The ongoing survey has been focused on the south basement of Gyanvapi, where the team worked on Saturday afternoon.

Sudhir Tripathi, another lawyer representing the Hindu side, expressed confidence that the scientific survey would provide clear insights. “We encourage everyone to cooperate with the survey’s process and expedite its completion. Our collaboration and commitment are evident. The Supreme Court’s directive has prompted their involvement. We welcome this effort and aspire for a swift resolution.”

The Allahabad High Court dismissed the plea filed by the Muslim party, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, contesting the Varanasi court’s order allowing the ASI to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, excluding the ‘Wazukhana’ area where a “Shivling” was reportedly discovered the previous year. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee challenged the Varanasi District Judge’s July 21 order.

On July 21, Varanasi District Judge AK Vishvesha issued an order for the ASI to survey the Gyanvapi complex based on an application made by four Hindu women on May 16. However, the order excluded the Wuzu Khana (ablution pond area) of the complex, which had been sealed according to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The Supreme Court declined to halt the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi, further affirming its continuation.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee challenged the high court’s decision to permit ASI to carry out the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

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