The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and Hindu petitioners on a plea filed by the Muslim group over the videographic survey of the Gyanvapi masjid complex – the iconic mosque standing beside the Kashi Vishwanath temple – in Varanasi. The responses, the court said, need to be filed by May 19.
A bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, also ordered the Varanasi district magistrate (DM) to protect the area where a ‘Shivling’ was allegedly found during the videographic survey. It, however, directed that “Muslims’ right to prayer and religious observances” will not be disturbed inside the Gyanvapi mosque.
Court-appointed commissioner removed for ‘Sharing Survey information’
A local court in Varanasi, which is hearing the Gyanvapi mosque case, removed Ajay Mishra from the post of advocate commissioner for allegedly “leaking information” about the videographic survey. The order was passed by Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar.
Besides, the court also granted two days’ time to the commission to file the report on the survey. “We had sought two days’ time from the court. The Court has granted us two days’ time for submission of the report,” advocate Vishal Singh, court-appointed special assistant commissioner, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
About the Viral picture of Shivling:
A local court on Monday ordered the sealing of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found there.
A senior Varanasi official said the “structure” is located in the middle of the wazookhana pond which is about 30 feet by 30 feet across. “The pond is already barricaded with an iron net and covered from the top by a tin shed. There are three doors that lead to the pond. Locks have to be put on these doors,” the official said earlier.
Two more days to submit the Survey report:
The court-appointed special Commission has also received two-more days to submit the survey report.
The survey lasted for three days from May 14-16. According to Ajay Pratap Singh, only 50 per cent of the report was complete by Tuesday morning.
The three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday.
In its order, the court said that the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area.