The ongoing Gyanvapi Masjid dispute took a new turn with the petitioners claiming, Monday, to have discovered a “Shivling” in the masjid pond. On Monday, hours after the “discovery,” a civil court issued an injunction sealing the location and prohibiting individuals from entering it. CRPF personnel were deputed to restrict entry into the contentious zone. The mosque committee, however, disputed the report, claiming that what was alleged to be a shivling was actually a fountain. It is believed to be 12 feet long and 8 inches wide.
Significantly, the pond serves as a wazukhana or place where the namaazis perform the ritualistic ablution before prayers.
SURVEY OF THE GYANVAPI MASJID
Last month, a Varanasi court ordered a video survey of the mosque grounds. The ruling was appealed, but the court ordered the ASI to continue the study after local Muslims objected to the survey team’s admission into the premises. The court ordered the survey team to present their findings by May 17.
On Day 1, four basement rooms were video filmed. According to sources, half of the surveys were completed. The western wall of the Gyanvapi complex, where the remains of a razed Hindu temple were apparently visible was mapped on Day 2 of the survey.
On Day 3, the “finding of the shivling” claim was made. The survey concluded.
THE MUSLIM SIDE’S APPEAL IN THE SUPREME COURT
Last Monday, the mosque administration committee, Anjuman-e-Intezamia, petitioned the Supreme Court for a stay of proceedings and an injunction prohibiting the publication of the survey and its findings.
CONTENTION OF THE HINDU SIDE
The Hindu side is requesting permission to worship and pray at the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex on a daily basis. The petitioners, five Hindu women, have asked for a survey of the complex in exchange. According to the Hindu party, going inside the mosque is required to confirm the existence of Shringar Gauri’s idol. Hence, the survey was requested.
The mosque management committee (Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid) says the idol of Shringar Gauri is outside the western wall of the mosque. Moreover, it claims that the court did not pass any order allowing videography inside the mosque but only till the courtyard, outside the barricades.