Court-ordered survey of Gyanvapi mosque completed for second day
A court-ordered videography and survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, was held for a second consecutive day on Sunday, a day after it resumed after being stalled last week, twice, amid protests by the mosque management committee.
The day's proceedings began on schedule, at 8am; however, there were conflicting reports over when these ended. Some media reports said that work continued beyond 12noon, by which time it was stipulated to end. Advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra -- appointed by a Varanasi civil court -- special advocate commissioner Vishal Singh, assistant advocate commissioner Ajai Pratap Singh, advocates of the Hindu and Muslim sides, a cameraman, and a few others, were inside the complex for the survey.
Filming is likely to continue on Monday as well. Finally, a report will be submitted to the civil court on May 17.
“Proceedings of the survey commission commenced at 8am. Security has been increased today. Arrangements have also been made to ensure that there is no inconvenience to the devotees who have to offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple,” said A Satish, Commissioner of Police, Varanasi, as the team went in.
On Saturday too, filming took place between 8am and 12noon.
The videography was earlier scheduled to be carried out on May 6 and 7. However, on both days, due to protests by the mosque’s Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, and some ruckus outside, the work could not be done. Also, the mosque committee accused the advocate commissioner of ‘bias’, and moved court, seeking that he be relieved from his duties.
However, on May 12, after three straight days of hearing, the civil court ruled that the advocate commissioner will stay, and asked that work be resumed, and completed by May 17. Sending out a strong message, the judge also directed that FIRs be registered against those trying to obstruct the proceedings.
Separately, the Supreme Court also refused to give an urgent hearing to the Masjid Committee, which sought a stay on the lower court’s order.