In a development following the recent revelation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) regarding the existence of a Hindu temple structure beneath the disputed Gyanvapi site, the Hindu side has taken a proactive step by filing an application before the Supreme Court. The application seeks direction for the ASI to conduct a survey of the Shivling found in the wuzukhana (ablution area) of the contentious site.
The application, submitted to the Supreme Court, urges the Director General of ASI to conduct an investigation of the Shivlingam and associated features without causing any damage to the sacred object. It emphasises the removal of artificial or modern walls and floors surrounding the Shivlingam to reveal its original features.
Additionally, the Hindu side requests a comprehensive survey of the entire sealed area through excavation and other scientific methods, with a mandate to submit the report within the stipulated timeframe provided by the Hon’ble Court.
Highlighting that the Shivling within the wuzukhana is encircled by artificial walls and holds no religious significance for Muslims, the Hindu side asserts that the recent construction of walls was intentionally executed to conceal the original features of the Shivling.
The application underscores the necessity for ASI to survey the sealed area to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation. Failure to include the sealed area in the survey, it argues, would undermine the purpose of the ASI’s efforts.
This move by the Hindu side comes in the wake of a publicised ASI report revealing the presence of a significant Hindu temple structure beneath the Gyanvapi site. However, it is met with skepticism and opposition from Muslim petitioners, who have expressed their intent to challenge the ASI report in higher judicial forums.
SM Yasin, Joint Secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), reiterated the mosque’s historical significance and its uninterrupted use for prayers over the centuries. He emphasised the mosque’s preservation as a primary responsibility and expressed skepticism towards the ASI’s findings, viewing them as a report rather than a conclusive decision.
As the legal battle continues over the disputed site, the Supreme Court’s intervention and subsequent actions by the ASI are awaited to shed further light on the contentious issue surrounding the Gyanvapi site.