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Gyanvapi Mosque Survey Report Submitted in Court, Leaked to Public: Key Findings

The report comprises findings and observations of the court-ordered survey, conducted between 14 and 16 May.

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Hours after the Gyanvapi mosque survey report was submitted in the Varanasi court by assistant advocate commissioner Vishal Singh on 19 May, a document being claimed as the said report, undersigned by Singh, surfaced in the media.

While The Quint is in the possession of the document doing rounds on mainstream news channels, its veracity is yet to be officially ascertained.

The report comprises findings and observations of the court-ordered survey, conducted between 14 and 16 May.

Interestingly, Ajay Mishra, the advocate commissioner leading the survey team, was removed on 17 May following an objection by the mosque committee which accused him of favouritism.

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What Does the Document Say?

Meanwhile, as per the document claimed to be the leaked survey report, several engravings resembling temple architecture were found.

"After the approval of the Muslim side, when the survey was conducted inside the mosque, a "Trishul" symbol was found engraved on a stone below a switchboard. A "Swastika" shaped engraving was found in the cupboard next to the switchboard," an excerpt in the report read.

Similar shapes of "Trishul" and "Swastika" relating to temple architecture were found in other places, especially on the walls, of the mosque premises.

The report also makes academic references to two books – History of Banaras by Professor AS Altekar and View of Banaras by James Principe – to substantiate their claims that the site map of the area, just under the mosque dome where prayers are offered, resembles the ground plan of Vishwashaishwar temple.

The report further claims there are zig-zag cuts on the walls of the mosque which are in the same number and shape as it appears in the ground plan in the book.

"It will be appropriate to get the above facts ascertained by a renowned historian," the report read.

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'Shivlinga' Found in the Wazu Khana?

The last day of the survey took a dramatic turn after Hari Shankar Jain, lawyer for one of the petitioners moved court claiming an important piece of evidence — 'Shivlinga' —has been found in the Wazu Khana (a place for ablution- washing face, hands and legs before the Islamic prayers) in the mosque and that the area should be sealed and kept out of bounds for Muslim devotees entering the mosque for prayers.

The local court accepted the plea and directed the local administration to seal the Wazu Khana.

During the survey of the Wazu Khana on 16 May, the team, in its report claimed to have found a 2.5 feet tall round black structure.

"During the ongoing commission's survey, the lawyers from the petitioner side claimed it (black round structure) to be 'Shivlinga', while the lawyers from the Masjid side claimed it is a fountain," an excerpt in the report read.

As per the report, on top of the black structure, a white stone can be seen with a 0.5 cm hole in between. When a straw was put in that hole, the depth came out to be 63 cm. The width of the base was found to be four feet, the survey report noted.

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Survey Report by Former Advocate Commissioner

Despite being removed as advocate commissioner in the Gyanwapi Survey, lawyer Ajay Mishra also submitted his two-page report in court. Mishra had conducted the survey on 6 and 7 May before the Masjid committee moved the court seeking his removal.

Assisted by court appointed assistant advocate commissioners, Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh, Mishra continued to lead the survey from 14 to 16 May and was removed on 16 May, following allegations of favouritism by the lawyers representing the Masjid committee.

In his report of the survey conducted on 6 and 7 May, Mishra claimed sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses and shapes relating to temple architecture were found engraved on the walls and on the debris kept inside the mosque.

The court ordered survey of the Gyanvapi mosque had led to palpable tension in the area with several people from the Muslim side raising slogans in protest on 7 May as the survey team led by Mishra reached the entrance to the mosque. The local administration had stepped in to quell the protest following which the survey work was carried out.

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Topics:  Varanasi    Supreme Court   survey 

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