A court in Varanasi has ordered a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque to investigate its alleged construction on an ancient Hindu temple site. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will conduct the survey, excluding the sealed ‘wazukhana’ area, pending resolution in the Supreme Court.
Court Orders ASI Survey
The court’s approval of the Hindu side’s petition for a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque is a major victory. The survey aims to determine the mosque’s historical origins concerning a possible former Hindu temple site, bringing clarity to a long-standing dispute.
Exclusion of ‘Wazukhana’
The survey will cover the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex, with one exception—the ‘wazukhana.’ This area, where Hindu litigants claim the presence of a ‘shilling,’ has been sealed, and its inclusion in the survey is pending a separate judgment from the Supreme Court. The court’s cautious approach is to avoid any interference in the ongoing proceedings related to the ‘wazukhana.’
Timeline for Completion
According to Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, the ASI survey is expected to be concluded within three to six months. This timeline indicates a relatively swift process, which could provide valuable insights into the historical significance of the Gyanvapi mosque.
The court’s approval of the ASI survey is seen as a turning point by the Hindu side, as it has the potential to settle the long-standing dispute over the mosque’s origins and has significant implications. On the other hand, the Muslim side has raised objections, citing concerns about potential damage to the Gyanvapi complex during the survey. The court has reserved its order after hearing both parties’ arguments.
Summing it up
The court-ordered survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi is crucial in addressing the dispute over its origins. The ASI’s investigation, excluding the sealed ‘wazukhana,’ could significantly impact the region’s religious and cultural dynamics.