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'Seal Area Where 'Shivling' Was Found': Varanasi Court After Gyanvapi Survey

The Varanasi court order came after a petitioner in the case claimed that 'conclusive evidence' has been found.

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An hour after the survey of the disputed Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi ended on Monday, 16 May, a Varanasi court ordered the district magistrate (DM) to seal the area where a Shivling has allgedly been found and prohibited the entry of any person to the area.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear an appeal by a Muslim party against the Allahabad High Court order permitting videography inside the mosque. The connected file in the case is to be presented during the hearing on 17 May.

The three-day videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, ended on Monday, a day before the next hearing of the case in court. The court had mandated the survey.
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The court added that the DM, police commissioner, police commissionerate, and CRPF commandant Varanasi will be responsible for security of the sealed area. The court order said that it is responsibility of Lucknow Police chief and the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh to ensure the enforcement of the order.

The court order came after a petitioner in the case claimed that 'conclusive evidence' has been found.

"The survey by the court commission has concluded. We have found conclusive evidence," the petitioner, Sohan Lal Arya, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma had not confirmed the reports about a Shivling being found within the mosque complex earlier, when he spoke to the media.

"No details of the survey of Gyanvapi mosque were disclosed by any member of the commission. The court is the custodian of the information about the survey. One member was debarred from the commission for about a few minutes yesterday, later admitted to the commission," Sharma had said.

Three domes, underground basements, and a pond were filmed by the survey team. They will share their finds with the court on Tuesday.

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The Varanasi court order came after a petitioner in the case claimed that 'conclusive evidence' has been found.

Women petitioners of the Gyanvapi Mosque survey case with police personnel during the third and last day of a videographic survey at the mosque, in Varanasi, Monday.

Photo: PTI

What Did the Petitioners Say?

According to NDTV, water was drained out of the pond on Monday morning and a Shivling was allegedly found, claimed a lawyer representing a group of Hindu women who sought year-long access to pray at the shrine behind the mosque.

The lawyer, Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, said that the pond was used for ablution (wazoo) purification rituals.

The petitioners claimed that the pond, which is used for purification ritual or the wazoo, must be sealed. The court accepted the plea and ordered Varanasi DM to ensure that the pond won't be used, for now.

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Truth Will Always Come Out, Tweets KP Maurya

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister KP Maurya took to Twitter and said:

"No matter how much you hide the "Truth", one day it will come out because "Truth is Shiva". Glory to Baba, Har Har Mahadev!"

He also said, "The manifestation of Baba Mahadev in Gyanvapi on the occasion of Buddha Purnima has given a mythological message to the country's eternal Hindu tradition."

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The Varanasi court order came after a petitioner in the case claimed that 'conclusive evidence' has been found.

Commissioner of Varanasi Deepak Agrawal interacts with media during the third and last day of a videographic survey at Gyanvapi Mosque complex, in Varanasi, Monday.

Photo: PTI

What Is the Case?

The location of Gyanvapi Mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. It is believed that it was built in the seventeenth century after the demolition of an existing Vishweshwar temple.

Some are of the opinion that the original lingam of the erstwhile Vishweshwar temple was hidden away in the adjoining Gyanvapi well during a raid by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

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."
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However, the survey could not take place as the mosque committee opposed videography inside the mosque, and accused Advocate Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra of bias and demanded his replacement.

The Varanasi court on Thursday, 12 May, ordered that the survey work will continue, and instead of replacing Mishra, appointed two more lawyers – Vishal Kumar Singh and Ajay Singh – to accompany him. The survey work had begun on Saturday.

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Topics:  Gyanvapi Mosque 

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