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Video Inspection of Gyanvapi Mosque To Continue, Court Asks for Report by 17 May

The court has asked the survey report to be submitted by 17 May.

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Law
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A local court in Varanasi on Thursday, 12 May, delivered its verdict regarding the inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque complex located near the Kashi Vishwanath temple and decided that the mosque's videography will continue.

The court had, 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”.

The court also decided that Ajay Kumar Mishra, the commissioner overseeing the survey, will not be removed.

"In any case, the survey work won't be stopped whether parties cooperate or they do not," the court observed.

Further, the court has asked the survey report to be submitted by 17 May.

Meanwhile, Advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the Hindu petitioners in court, informed that two more lawyers have been appointed as commissioners to accompany the court commissioner Ajay Mishra for the survey.
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"Family Worried About My Safety": Judge

Meanwhile, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, the judge at the Varanasi court who allowed filming inside the Gyanvapi mosque earlier on Thursday afternoon, said in his judgement that his family was worried about his safety as "an ordinary civil matter has been converted into an extraordinary issue".

Diwakar wrote in his judgment, "An atmosphere of fear has been created. Such fear that my family was worried about their and my safety. Whenever I was stepping out of my house, my wife used to worry about my security. There was some reports in the media that I would visit the survey site but my mother told me not to do it as she was worried about my safety".

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Background

The survey, which began last Friday wasn't fully completed owing to a dispute over videography inside the mosque.

The caretaker committee of the mosque and its lawyers had stated that they are against any videography inside the mosque. The lawyers for the petitioners however, had said that they have the court's go-ahead.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Thursday, "This all is happening to gain political benefits, these issues will break the country. After Ram temple, now peace is needed."

According to the plaintiffs, an image of the goddess Shringar Gauri existed at the back of the western wall of the mosque.

The plaintiffs, according to The Hindu report, also demanded that caretakers of the mosque be restricted from creating obstacles or interfering in the performance of daily pooja, aarti, and rituals by devotees.

Authorities were earlier directed by the Varanasi court to submit a report regarding the matter on 10 May.

Meanwhile, speaking to NDTV, Subhash Ranjan Chaturvedi, a lawyer representing the women plaintiffs, said, "How can you decide anything without a proper survey?"

Answering a question on whether the survey would be a violation of the Places of Worship Act, Chaturvedi said, "The places of worship act does not apply there. You are saying it's a mosque. We can say it's a temple. Let it be decided it is a mosque. Then the act will apply."

(With inputs from NDTV and The Hindu.)

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Topics:  BJP   Varanasi   Uttar Pradesh 

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