HomeIndiaGyanvapi Mosque Case: Should ASI Survey Report Be Made Public? Decision Today

Gyanvapi Mosque Case: Should ASI Survey Report Be Made Public? Decision Today

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VARANASI: All eyes are on the Varanasi District Court, which is set to determine on Wednesday whether the sealed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report concerning the Gyanvapi mosque complex survey should be made public. The ASI had diligently compiled a comprehensive 1000-page report on the scientific survey of the mosque premises, submitting it to the Varanasi court on December 18 of the previous year.

ASI’s Plea For Delay

District Judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha had previously adjourned the hearing on the applications filed by Hindu petitioners who sought access to the survey report. This decision was influenced by an application from the ASI, urging the court to postpone the release by four weeks. The ASI cited the need for additional time to file the report in the 1991 suit related to the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque dispute.

Objectives Of ASI Survey

The ASI had undertaken the survey at the directive of the Varanasi court, tasked with determining whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The agency, in its plea, highlighted the high court’s order, emphasizing that the survey report must be presented in the 1991 suit. The ASI expressed concerns about the potential repercussions of disclosing the report’s content to the public, fearing the spread of rumours and misrepresentation that could adversely impact their ongoing work.

Supreme Court’s Involvement

On August 4, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to halt the ASI’s survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, excluding the ‘wuzukhana’ area where a ‘shivling’ was purportedly discovered last year. A disagreement persists between the Hindu petitioners, who assert that it is a “shivling,” and the Muslim side, which contends that it is a “fountain.”

SC Allows ‘Wazukhana’ Cleaning

In a subsequent development, on January 16, the Supreme Court granted approval to Hindu women petitioners, allowing them to seek direction for cleaning the entire ‘wazukhana’ area of the Gyanvapi mosque, where the alleged ‘Shivling’ was discovered. The cleaning process commenced on January 20, executed under strict security measures overseen by district officials. This unfolding legal saga continues to captivate attention as the Varanasi District Court deliberates on the crucial decision regarding the public release of the ASI survey report.

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