Varanasi: Amid tight security, a court-mandated videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh began for the third consecutive day on Monday. However, objections over filming inside the complex continue.
As on Sunday (15 May), nearly 65 per cent of the survey was completed. To avoid any untoward incident, all roads leading to Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi Mosque have been blocked and security has been tightened in the vicinity. Also, pedestrians were not allowed on the road between Maidagin and Godowlia areas.
"The Court commission is conducting the Gyanvapi mosque survey on the third day. We have made adequate arrangements to manage the heavy inflow of devotees to Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Vaishakh Purnima today," news agency ANI quoted A Satish Ganesh, Commissioner Police Varanasi as saying.
On Sunday, Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma had informed that the survey work on Monday will start from 8 am and directed all the parties to remain present.
"This is completely an archaeological survey work, since the advocates were not familiar with the survey work, the work took some time," Madan Mohan Yadav, the counsel for the Hindu side in the case, said on Sunday.
The Gyanvapi mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and a local court is hearing a plea by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.
Earlier last week, the survey was stalled amid objections by the mosque committee, which claimed that the advocate commissioner appointed by the court for the survey did not have the mandate to film inside the premises.
In his order on Thursday (12 May), District Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar had turned down a plea by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.
The judge also appointed two more advocates to help the court commissioner with the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday, 17 May, 2022.
The district court had said that locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. It also asked district authorities to register FIRs if the survey was not allowed.
On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey. The apex court, however, agreed to consider listing the plea of a Muslim party against the survey. Advocate Yadav had said the three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers each from the two sides and an assistant besides a videography team will carry out the survey.
With inputs from ANI and PTI