Petitions filed for scientific study of Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi

    0
    70

    Three petitions seeking a scientific study of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex have been admitted by the Varanasi district judge’s court in India on May 17, 2023. The petitions were filed by nine people, including four women plaintiffs leading the Hindu side’s claim to unhindered access to the complex for daily worship of Shringar Gauri and other deities. The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, which manages the mosque, has until May 19 to respond to the petitions.

    The petitions come less than a week after the Allahabad High Court authorized the use of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-recommended methods to date the purported shivling found in the ablution pond of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The finding of the shivling occurred during a court-mandated survey of the complex on May 16, 2022, which coincides with the first anniversary of the discovery.

    The petitions argue that a detailed scientific investigation of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex is crucial to determining the age and nature of its construction. They also seek to establish whether the structure had been built over a pre-existing Hindu shrine and the antiquity of the main structure’s western wall. The plaintiffs’ counsel, Vishnu Jain, argued that there were “numerous evidences, signs, and symbols on walls, pillars, and several points in the building” that establish these as “part of an old Hindu temple”. The present structure is said to stand on the plinth and base of the old shrine, according to the plaintiffs.

    Furthermore, the petitions contain the claim that there are “three old shikhars of a Hindu temple hidden under the present dome-like structure of the mosque.” The claim is that there is an old Jyotirlinga that has been covered by constructing a new structure over it. The plaintiffs also assert that there are a number of Hindu artifacts within the northern cellar and beneath the floor of the cellars, as well as a number of Hindu artifacts inside the building in question.

    District judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha will hear the pleas on May 22. The court’s decision on the petitions is anticipated to have significant implications for the ongoing dispute over the Gyanvapi mosque complex’s ownership and control. The complex has been a contentious site between Hindus and Muslims for centuries. The Hindus claim that the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple destroyed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, while Muslims believe that the mosque has been in continuous use since its construction in the 17th century.

    The dispute over the Gyanvapi mosque complex is one of several such disputes that have been ongoing in India for years. The Ayodhya dispute, for instance, concerned the ownership and control of the land on which the Babri Masjid once stood. The dispute was resolved in November 2019 when the Supreme Court of India awarded the land to the Hindus and directed the government to provide a separate plot of land to the Muslim community for the construction of a mosque.

    In conclusion, the filing of three petitions seeking a scientific study of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi has brought the dispute over the complex’s ownership and control to the forefront once again. The petitions seek to establish whether the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple and the antiquity of the main structure’s western wall. The court’s decision on the petitions is expected to have significant implications for the ongoing dispute.