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Gyanvapi News Updates: SC Says Shivling Area to be Secured, But Allows Namaz; Varanasi Court Wants Survey Report in 2 Days

The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Varanasi court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls. (Photo: PTI/File)

The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Varanasi court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls. (Photo: PTI/File)

Gyanvapi News Updates: Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex, was removed from the post for leaking information about the case

Gyanvapi News Updates: The Supreme Court on Tuesday passed an order that the Shivling area that was found inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi will be protected and Muslims’ right to prayer and religious observances should not be disturbed inside the mosque. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha heard the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi and said the apex court will hear parties on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Varanasi court-appointed Commission that carried out the videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex has got two days time to submit its report. The court had earlier asked the commission to submit the report by Tuesday. Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the complex, was removed from the post for leaking information about the case. Special Court Commissioner Vishal Singh will now submit the survey report to the court.

A local court on Monday had ordered the sealing of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found there during the court-mandated videography survey. However, a mosque management committee member disputed the claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the wazookhana reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.

The Varanasi court ordered district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma “to seal the area and prohibit the entry of any person to the area.” In its order, the court said the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area.

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.

Here are the latest updates on Gyanvapi row:

• Hindu Sena mentioned before the SC an intervention application and requests that it be taken along with appeal of the management committee of Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid in Varanasi seeking a stay on Gyanvapi mosque survey. Court told the advocate to be present in the during the hearing today.

• Many Hindus have long believed that during Aurangzeb’s invasion, the original lingam of the ancient Vishweshwar temple was hidden by priests in the Gyanvapi well, which has sparked a desire to perform puja and rites at the pious site where the mosque now sits, writes Yuvraj Pokhrana.

• Assistant Advocate Commissioner, Ajay Pratap Singh, said, “As per the orders of the court, the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex took place from May 14 to May 16 from 8 am to 12 noon, and its report was to be submitted to the court.” “However, we are not submitting the report in the court today (Tuesday) since it is not prepared. We will seek additional time from the court, and whatever time the court gives, we will submit the report then,” Singh said.

• CRPF commandant in-charge of Gyanvapi area has been asked to prepare a roster of officers who will guard the area through all hours.

• The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) reacted sharply and condemned the survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi masjid and sealing of ‘wuzu khana’ (ablution area). The board termed the survey, its report and sealing of ‘wuzu khana’ as gross injustice to Muslims. In a statement issued late on Monday evening, the AIMPLB said the current situation created about the Gyanvapi mosque was completely unacceptable to Muslims and Gyanvapi “was a mosque and will continue to remain a mosque till the end”.

• There is no ban on offering namaz at Gyanvapi. Alternative arrangements have been made by authorities to ensure Muslims don’t face any problem after reaching the Mosque for namaz. On days of bigger rush, number of security personnel will be increased. The area around the Masjid complex is being constantly kept under watch from near by watch tower, manned by the CRPF.

• AIMIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi slammed a court order that directed to seal the place where the “Shivling” was discovered in the survey. “This is a textbook repeat of December 1949 in Babri Masjid. This order itself changes the religious nature of the Masjid. This is a violation of 1991 Act. This was my apprehension and it has come true. Gyanvapi Masjid was, and will remain a Masjid till judgement day, Inshallah,” Owaisi tweeted.

• On May 13, the Supreme Court had declined to immediately stop the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and agreed to list the matter. Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the petitioner, mentioned a plea before the top court filed by the committee seeking a stay on survey of complex.

• The plea challenged the validity of Allahabad High Court’s April 21 order, which dismissed the plea against the civil court’s order for the survey. Ahmadi mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana.

(with inputs from agencies)

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first published:May 17, 2022, 07:17 IST