Survey underway at Gyanvapi Masjid complex for second day

1 month ago 27

Varanasi: The videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex here is being carried out for the second consecutive on Sunday amid tight security, officials said.

The survey was stalled last week amid objections by the mosque committee, which claimed that the advocate commissioner appointed by the court for the survey did not have the mandate to film inside the premises.

The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.

"Survey at the Gyanvapi Masjid complex has begun," Police Commissioner of Varanasi, A Satish Ganesh, told PTI on Sunday.

District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said, "Survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex has started (on Sunday).

"Yesterday, things went on in a peaceful manner, and there was no objection from anyone," officials said said.

Sharma had said on Saturday that almost 50 per cent of the survey work has been done, and the survey was conducted from 8 am to 12 noon.

"Survey of more than 50 per cent of the place has been done. The survey work is confidential, and is done under the monitoring of the court. So, information regarding the places where the survey was done and what was found cannot be shared now," he had said.

In his order on Thursday last, District Civil Court (Senior Division) judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar had turned down a plea by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.

The judge also appointed two more advocates to help the commissioner with the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.

The district court had said that locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. It also asked district authorities to register FIRs if the survey was not allowed.

The Supreme Court had on Friday last refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey. The top court, however, agreed to consider listing the plea of a Muslim party against the survey.

Advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, who is appearing for the Hindu side, had said the three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers each from the two sides and an assistant besides a videography team will carry out the survey.

All parties, their advocates, court commissioners and videographers were present during the survey, Sharma had said.

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