New Delhi: Heavy police forces shielded Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Masjid on Saturday as the controversial video survey of the disputed complex is set to resume shortly, a day after the Supreme Court verdict, reported ANI. Photos released by the news agency show heavy deployment of police personnel outside the Gyanvapi complex amid scare of communal tension or disharmony owing to the complexity of the matter. The shops in the 500 m radius have been closed.
The stalled videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex was given a nod by Supreme Court on Friday after and the mosque management committee has indicated that it will cooperate for now with the team assigned the task by a local court.
Also Read: Gyanvapi Masjid case- Controversial history, timeline and long-drawn legal battle, read here
Gyanvapi mosque survey | Police personnel deployed in the area around the mosque in Varanasi, UP. Videography survey to begin shortly
“Today we’ll enter the underground cell and begin videography. We will go in by 8 am,” says Adv Shivam Gaur, representing petitioner Rakhi Singh. pic.twitter.com/4xSZoq2wCe
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) May 14, 2022
The SC in its order refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey. The top court, however, agreed to consider listing the plea of a Muslim party against the survey.
“An important meeting was held with all the concerned parties on Friday. An appeal was made to them to cooperate in the commission’s work and the maintenance of law and order, Varanasi district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told PTI
The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.
In his order on Thursday, District Civil Court (Senior Division) judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar turned down a plea by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by him to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.
The judge also appointed two more advocates to help the commissioner with the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.
Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s joint secretary Sayyad Mohammed Yaseen said it will think about moving the high court against the local court’s order after the Supreme Court delivers its ruling.
“Till then we will cooperate with the district court order in the matter,” he told PTI.
The survey was stalled last week amid objections by the mosque committee, which claimed that the advocate commissioner did not have the mandate to film inside the premises. The committee accused him of bias and filed a plea for his replacement.
In its order Thursday, the district court said locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey.
It also asked the district authorities to register FIRs if the survey was not allowed.
(With agency inputs)
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