Gyanvapi Masjid Sari: Heavy police deployed, team completes video survey

Compulsory videographic surveys of two basement courts inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex have ended this Saturday morning after tight security resumed.

Inside the basement, three rooms belonged to the Muslim section and were opened for survey purposes as the mosque management authorities cooperated with the survey team. Another room, which was on the Hindu side, had no door.

“Authorized persons – all parties, their lawyers, court commissioners and videographers – have reached the spot, and the survey has started,” Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told PTI.

A local court in Varanasi on Friday ordered a videographic survey to be carried out inside the Gyanvapi Mosque near the Kashi Bishwanath temple. Some people inside the mosque stopped the survey last week after a court-appointed advocate commission, Ajay Kumar, alleged that it was biased towards mixed Hindu petitioners. The local court ordered a visit after hearing a one-year plea by five women seeking permission to open a mosque compound to worship Hindu deities behind the mosque. They also demanded access to “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex.”

The local court also rejected the mosque committee’s request to replace Mishra. Instead, Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Divakar directed two more lawyers to assist Mishra and directed the officials to complete the survey by Tuesday. The judge further instructed “if anyone interferes.” Immediately after the local court order, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said that he would practice by calling on all stakeholders to maintain peace and order. “It is up to the court-appointed commissioners to appeal to the Supreme Court. We are starting the process tomorrow, ”he said.

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to issue an order regarding the status of the survey when it listed the matter for an emergency hearing.

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