Fresh plea wants survey of ‘wuzukhana’ in Gyanvapi; hearing on 8 Sept

Varanasi's Gyanvapi Masjid case sees another new application for a specific survey of the wuzukhana, excluding the 'shivling'

Gyanvapi Masjid, Varanasi
(photo courtesy Twitter)
Gyanvapi Masjid, Varanasi (photo courtesy Twitter)


A fresh application has been moved before the Varanasi district judge by Rakhi Singh, the main plaintiff in the Shringar Gauri case, demanding a survey of the wuzukhana (ablution pond) in the Gyanvapi mosque. excluding the purported 'shivling' found in it last year.

The court has fixed September 8 for taking up the application.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is at present surveying the mosque complex, excluding the wuzukhana in which the supposed 'shivling' was found during a court-mandated survey on 16 May 2022.

The Varanasi district judge ordered this survey on 21 July, on an application filed by the other four plaintiffs in the Shringar Gauri case.

Anupam Dwivedi, lawyer for Rakhi Singh, who is a founder member of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), said that a 62-page application was moved before the court on Tuesday, 29 August.

"In this plea, we have sought the ASI survey of the wuzukhana also by excluding the shivling found in it, in order to bring the actual facts of the complete Gyanvapi compound to light,” he said. "The court has accepted the application and fixed 8 September as the date of hearing."

On 21 July, district judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha had directed the ASI to conduct a scientific investigation of the Gyanvapi mosque compound using ground penetrating radar (GPR), excavation, carbon dating method and other modern techniques to determine whether it has been constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

This survey was to exclude the wuzukhana, sealed per orders issued by various courts on 17 May 2022, 20 May 2022 and 11 November 2022.

In view of the 21 July order, the ASI started the survey on 24 July. However, the survey was stopped after a few hours, as the Supreme Court allowed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) committee to move the Allahabad High Court for relief.

On 2 August, the high court dismissed the AIM committee's plea, after which the ASI resumed its survey from 4 August.

On 2 August, Rakhi Singh moved an application before the Varanasi district judge to seek directions to preserve signs of a Hindu temple on the premises. Further hearing on this application will also take place on 8 September.

In the Shringar Gauri case, first filed in August 2021, Rakhi Singh and four other women plaintiffs are seeking regular worship of Shringar Gauri and other deities within the Gyanvapi Mosque compound.

This plea led to the court-mandated survey of May 2022, in which a shivling-like structure was seen in the ablution pond.

This case has now been clubbed with seven other cases of similar nature, which are being heard by the Varanasi district judge.

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