Varanasi Gyanvapi Masjid ASI Survey: Anjuman Intejamia Masjid Committee (AIMC) lawyer Akhlaq Ahmed has reacted to the decades-old Gyanvapi Masjid-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute. Speaking to TOI, he rejected the Hindu side’s claim that there was a temple before the mosque at the disputed site. He said that AIM had given shops on rent to 5-6 sculptors in Chhattadwar. There is a strong possibility that before 1993, those shopkeepers might have thrown the damaged idols and garbage in the southern part of the mosque. In 1993, it was covered with an iron grill.
He said that it is possible that the ASI team may have recovered the same statues while removing debris during its survey. The claims in the ASI report are exactly like those in the Commissioner’s survey conducted in May 2022. We have not seen the report. Will study the report and then comment.
Mosque committee said- we will study the report
On the other hand, SM Yasin, joint secretary of Anjuman Anjamia Masjid Committee, said that the organization will study the ASI survey report. Will analyze it. Will consult experts and then decide on its next step. In the current circumstances, keeping the mosque safe is our first and most important responsibility. ASI has given the report as per its investigation. This is a report, not a decision.
Will conduct survey of sealed area – Hindu side
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the Hindu side, made the ASI report public on Thursday night and said that they will approach the Supreme Court for a fresh survey of the sealed area of the mosque. The bathroom is sealed. A structure like Shivalinga was found at the same place. However, the Muslim side had described it as a fountain. Later, the brothel was sealed on the orders of the Supreme Court.
What is in the ASI report?
Reports suggest that the temple was destroyed during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. An Arabic-Persian inscription found inside one of the rooms mentions that the mosque was built during the reign of Aurangzeb. The temple was destroyed during the reign of Aurangzeb in the 17th century.
The Gyanvapi controversy is decades old, but in August 2021, five women filed a petition in the Varanasi court demanding the right to worship at the Maa Shringar Gauri site located inside the complex. After this, the court had ordered to conduct the survey in May 2022.
During the survey, many symbols of Hindu temples were found at the disputed site. Whereas the Muslim side claims that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built 600 years ago by a landlord of Jaunpur. It was renovated by the Mughal emperor Akbar during his reign. Then the Gyanvapi Mosque was expanded and renovated by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.