Video Survey of Gyanvapi Mosque Underway Amid Heavy Police Deployment

The videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque's underground cell started amid heavy police presence in Varanasi.

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Amid heavy police deployment, the videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi commenced on Saturday, 14 May. Shops in the 500-metre radius were shut during the exercise.

"Today we'll enter the underground cell and begin videography. We will go in by 8 am," Advocate Shivam Gaur, representing petitioner Rakhi Singh, said, reported news agency ANI.

A Varanasi court had delivered its verdict on the matter on Thursday, saying that the survey and video inspection inside the Gyanvapi mosque would continue and the report be submitted by 17 May. The court in Varanasi also added two advocates to the survey commission.

The videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque's underground cell started amid heavy police presence in Varanasi.

Security personnel stand guard as officials move towards Gyanvapi Masjid complex to resume a videography survey in Varanasi on Saturday, 14 May.

(Photo: PTI)

The court, in April this year, ordered a video inspection of the site after five women affiliated with the right-wing group Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh filed petitions saying they were entitled to have daily darshan, pooja, and perform rituals at the site of Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, and other "visible and invisible deities within old temple complex."

Kashi zone DCP RS Gautam said there were "robust" security arrangements in place, to ensure that people do not face any inconvenience and "everything goes on well," reported ANI.

Thursday's order was decried by All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who termed the Gyanvapi Mosque verdict a "blatant violation" of the Places of Worship Act 1991.

The first day of the survey ended in the afternoon and will resumed again on Sunday, 15 May. "In a peaceful environment, today's survey was conducted by the commission, and it will continue further tomorrow. Necessary security arrangements have been made," ANI quoted A Satish Ganesh, Varanasi Police Commissioner, as saying.

Any Change in Status Quo Will Lead to 'Huge Conflict': Chidambaram 

Reacting to the controversy surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque, Congress leader P Chidambaram said that if there is any change regarding the status quo of the mosque, it may lead to a huge conflict.

"Places of Worship Act was passed by the PV Narasimha Rao government with the only exception to Ram Janmabhoomi. All other places of worship should remain in status as they are. We shouldn't change status of places of worship (as) it will lead to huge conflict," Chidambaram was quoted as saying by ANI.

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Topics:  Varanasi   Uttar Pradesh   Asaddudin Owaisi 

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