Gyanvapi mosque: ASI survey resumes, Hindu side says ‘we are very excited, Tahkhana…’
Heavy security was deployed at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi as the survey is still in its ongoing phase by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) continued its scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday to determine if the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. As the ASI team resumed the survey at 8am, advocate Sudhir Tripathi, representing the Hindu side, said the survey of the dome was yet to be completed.
“It seems the survey of the dome has not been completed. 'Tahkhana' is also being surveyed. Without removing the rubble, photography and videography are not possible,” news agency ANI quoted Tripathi as saying.
Heavy security was deployed at the Gyanvapi mosque complex as the survey is still in its ongoing phase by the ASI. The team will conduct the survey till 12.30pm. Between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, the survey will be halted for lunch.
Rekha Pathak, a Hindu side petitioner, said, “The 'Tahkhana' might be opened today. We are very excited about the survey. It has become our routine to get up in the morning and head for duty. That's how we feel. Our work is to supervise. We have had talks and the survey starts at 8am and will go on till 5pm.”
The scientific survey of the complex, adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, excluding Wuzu Khana, resumed last Friday, following the Allahabad high court's order, which allowed the ASI to conduct the survey.
The high court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by the Muslim side, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, challenging the Varanasi court order allowing the ASI to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, except the 'Wazukhana' area where a “Shivling” was claimed to have been found last year.
Delayed start of Gyanvapi survey
On Monday, the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque was delayed briefly due to a heavy rush of devotees at the adjacent Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Mondays in the month of 'sawan' hold great significance for devotees, who queue up at temples to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
As a crowd of devotees gathered at the Kashi Vishwanath temple, the survey started three hours late at 11am and continued till 5pm. Monday was the fourth day of the exercise being carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on court directives.