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ASI Submits Gyanvapi Mosque Survey Report as Varanasi Court Awaits Verdict

In a significant development, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has submitted its survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex to the district court in Varanasi. The court, which had dismissed pleas challenging the maintainability of a 1991 lawsuit seeking the restoration of a temple beneath the mosque, is scheduled to reveal the contents of the report on Thursday.

The Allahabad High Court recently dismissed petitions contesting the validity of the 1991 lawsuit, which aims to restore a temple beneath the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi. The court emphasized that the “religious character” of the disputed place could only be decided by the court itself.

Maulana Arshad Madani, the President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, announced on Wednesday that the Muslim party plans to appeal to the Supreme Court following the rejection of petitions by the Allahabad High Court.

The controversy revolves around the claim that the 17th-century Gyanvapi mosque was constructed over an existing Hindu temple. In response to this assertion, the court mandated a survey, which the ASI conducted on the Gyanvapi premises, located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The objective was to determine whether the mosque was built atop the remains of a pre-existing Hindu temple structure.

Advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the Hindu petitioners, revealed that the ASI’s standing counsel, Amit Srivastava, submitted the survey report in a sealed cover. The court has scheduled December 21 for the public disclosure of the report and distribution of its copies to the advocates on both sides.

During the submission of the report, four high-ranking ASI officials were present in court. The ASI had received several extensions to finalize the survey, which involved examining beneath the mosque’s domes, cellars, and the western wall.

The Hindu plaintiffs argue that the Gyanvapi mosque is an integral part of the temple. On the other hand, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee and the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board contend that the lawsuit is barred by the Places of Worship Act (Special Provisions) Act of 1991.

The Allahabad High Court ruled on Tuesday that civil suits seeking the restoration of the temple on the mosque premises are not barred by the Places of Worship Act. This act prohibits the conversion of a religious structure from its nature as it stood on August 15, 1947, with the exception of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

The ongoing legal battle in Varanasi adds to the country’s complex religious disagreements, and the Supreme Court’s involvement is anticipated as the case progresses.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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