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Not idols, but...: Hindu side lawyer on Gyanvapi survey

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: August 05, 2023 21:46 IST
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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday examined the central hall of the Gyanvapi mosque on the second day of the scientific survey to determine if the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

IMAGE: Police and Paramilitary personnel keep vigil outside Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Five members from the Muslim side were also present during the survey, after having stayed away on Friday.

Government counsel Rajesh Mishra, who was with the ASI survey team a day before as well, on Saturday said the team started work in the morning and completed it by 5 pm. The survey work was stopped between 1 pm to 3 pm for lunch.

ASI officials told PTI that the survey work will resume again at 8 am on Sunday.

According to ASI officials, the team examined the central hall of the mosque where Namaz is offered. The team also surveyed a few basement areas in the complex.

Advocate Tauheed Khan for the Muslim side said two lawyers of the Intezamia Masjid Committee accompanied the survey team.

A lawyer for the Hindu side Sudhir Tripathi claimed, "Not idols, but fragments of idols have been found in the debris. We are quite hopeful that idols will also be recovered... The Intezamia Masjid Committee is cooperating... they gave the keys which they were not giving earlier."


Another lawyer of the Hindu side Subhash Nandan told reporters that the ASI team examined the central hall under the main dome.

Late on Friday night, joint secretary of the Intezamia Masjid Committee Muhammad Yasin said in a letter that they would cooperate in the survey work, honouring the order of the Supreme Court.

"Keeping in mind the Supreme Court's orders refusing to stay the survey work, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid has unanimously decided that while honouring the orders of the Supreme Court, it will cooperate with the ASI in the survey work," he said.

"It is hoped that the orders of the honourable court will be impartially complied with, and our mosque will not be damaged. Along with this, our religious rights will remain protected as per previous orders of the court," Yasin said, appealing to people to maintain peace.

A team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) is assisting the ASI in the survey work.

IIT-K Director Abhay Karandikar told PTI over the phone that a team from the institute's Earth Sciences department is in Varanasi and Professor Javed N Malik of the department will join soon after returning to the country.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order on the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, an exercise that the Muslim side says will "reopen wounds of the past".

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said he hoped that the floodgates for a "thousand Babris" (Babri Masjid) will not be opened after the ASI reports are made public after the survey.

"#Gyanvapi ASI reports are made public, who knows how things will pan out? One hopes that neither 23rd December nor 6th December will repeat.

"The observation of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya judgement regarding the sanctity of the Places of Worship Act must not be dishonoured. The hope is that the floodgates for a thousand Babris will not be opened," he tweeted.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, asked the ASI not to carry out any invasive act during the survey.

This ruled out excavations, which the Varanasi court had said can be conducted if necessary.

The Supreme Court's nod on Friday came just hours after an ASI team had already resumed the detailed scientific survey ordered by the Varanasi district court on July 21.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee had challenged the district court's order in the Allahabad high court, which dismissed its petition on Thursday. The Muslim body then quickly approached the Supreme Court.

On Friday, the Varanasi court also granted the ASI an additional month to complete the survey, extending its original deadline from Friday to September 4.

Meanwhile, a former senior ASI official has said that the ground penetrating radar technology being used in the ongoing scientific survey is the best non-intrusive method to detect if any structure is buried under the mosque.

Former additional director general of the ASI B R Mani said radar technology or ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology involves certain types of equipment.

Mani said special equipment like magnetometers, radiometers, fluxgate sensors, and remote sensing among others are needed to understand the sub-surface or the buried objects or structures.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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