A court-directed videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex has begun here for the third day in a row on Monday amid tight security, officials said. As of Sunday, about 75 percent of the survey had been completed.
“The survey has started at Gyanbapi Mosque Complex,” Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma and Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh told PTI. The mosque is located near the iconic Kashi Bishwanath Temple, and a local court is hearing an application by a group of women seeking permission to offer daily prayers in front of the statue on its outer wall. Yesterday, the DM said that the survey work will be done on Monday All teams have been instructed to be present starting at 8 am.
“About 65 per cent of the survey work has been completed. The survey will continue on Monday. This is a completely archeological survey work, since the lawyers were not familiar with the survey work, the work took some time, “said Madan Mohan Yadav, a Hindu lawyer in the case.
The survey was postponed last week amid objections from the mosque committee, which claimed that there was no order to film inside the premises of the court-appointed advocate commissioner for the survey.
In his order last Thursday, District Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Divakar rejected an application by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed by the court as an advocate commissioner to survey the Gyanbapi-Gauri Sringar complex. The judge appointed two more advocates to assist the court commissioner in the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.
The district court said the lock had to be broken if the key was not found to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. It asked the district authorities to file an FIR if the survey was not allowed. The Supreme Court last Friday refused to issue an interim injunction in the survey. The apex court, however, agreed to consider the list of petitions filed by a Muslim party against the survey.
Advocate Yadav said a videography team would conduct the survey, in addition to three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers from each side and an assistant.