VARANASI — A fresh application has been moved before Varanasi district judge by Rakhi Singh, the main plaintiff in the Shringar Gauri case, demanding survey of the ‘wuzukhana’ (ablution pond), excluding the purported ‘Shivling’ found in it last year, in the Gyanvapi mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The court has fixed September 8 for taking up the application.
The ASI, at present, is surveying the mosque complex, excluding the ‘wuzukhana’ in which the purported ‘Shivling’ was found during a court-mandated survey on May 16, 2022.
The Varanasi district judge ordered this survey on July 21 on an application filed by the other four plaintiffs in the Shringar Gauri case.
Anupam Dwivedi, the lawyer of Rakhi Singh, who is a founder member of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), said that a 62-page application was moved before the court on Tuesday.
“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 complete Gyanvapi compound to light,” he said, adding: “The court has accepted the application and fixed September 8 as the date of hearing.”
On July 21, 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, 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 be conducted by excluding the ‘wuzukhana’ area, sealed on the orders issued by various courts on May 17, 2022, May 20, 2022 and November 11, 2022.
In view of the order, the ASI started the survey on July 24 but the survey was stopped after a few hours, as the Supreme Court allowed the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid (AIM) to move the Allahabad High Court for relief.
On August 2, the high court dismissed the plea of AIM after which ASI resumed the survey from August 4. On August 2, Rakhi Singh had moved an application before the Varanasi district judge to seek directions to preserve signs of Hindu temple on the premises.
Further hearing on this application will also take place on September 8.
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 in the Gyanvapi mosque compound.
This plea led to the court-mandated survey in May 2022 in which a Shivling-like structure was found in the ablution pond of the compound. This case has now been clubbed with seven other cases of similar nature and being heard by the Varanasi district judge. — IANS