A Varanasi court has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a physical survey of the city’s Gyanvapi mosque located next to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The court ordered the survey, ruling on a three-decade-old petition, arguing that the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb demolished an ancient temple of “Lord Vishweshwar” and “with the help of the ruins of the said temple, a mosque.” build out”.
In its order, the court asked the Director General of ASI to “constitute a five-member committee of eminent persons who are experts and well versed in archaeological sciences, two of whom should preferably belong to the minority community”.
The court also asked the ASI chief to appoint an eminent person – a scholar or an established academician – as an observer for the committee.
In its order, the court stated, “The main objective of the Archaeological Survey is to find out whether the religious structure currently standing at the ‘disputed site’ is an over-transformation, alteration or addition or any form of structural overlapping, with or Also other religious structures “.
The court said, “It will also be ascertained whether any temple of the Hindu community was constructed before the construction of the mosque or was added or erected at the ‘disputed’ site”.
The original petition in the case was filed in 1991, but residents of Varanasi say that the mosque was built in 1664 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
R Shamshad, a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, said the case is non-maintainable and should be dismissed in view of a law enacted in 1991.
“A petition was filed to dismiss this suit, on which the district court has passed an order. Now the entire matter is pending in the Allahabad High Court whether or not this trial can be heard. In this background , While the issue is pending. In the Allahabad High Court, I do not think there is any justification for such an order. Such an order should not have been passed at this stage, “he said.