In a blow to the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi mosque row, a Varanasi court on Friday rejected the demand to carry out carbon dating or any other scientific investigation of the Shivling-like structure found on the compound of the mosque.
The Gyanvapi mosque is located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. A petition was filed in the Varanasi court reviving claims that the mosque was built on a portion of the Hindu structure demolished on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
The ‘Shivling’ was found earlier this year during a video survey carried out in the Gyanvapi mosque complex on the orders of a lower court in response to a petition by five Hindu women requesting year-long access to pray at a shrine inside the mosque complex.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, the caretaker of the mosque, claims that the object is a fountain in the wazu khana, or ablution tank, and not a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.
The court said that it “will not be appropriate” to direct the Archaeological Survey of India to determine the age, nature of the ‘Shivling’ and there was no possibility for the determination of the questions involved in the suit by way of this order.
“If carbon dating and ground penetrating radar is permitted and if any damage is caused to the ‘Shivling’, then it would be in violation of the Supreme Court order to protect it and it might also hurt the religious sentiments of the general public,” it pointed out.
District court Judge AK Vishvesha rejected the plea after hearing the objections of Anjuman Intezamia Committee — a body that manages the mosque — to the Hindu worshippers’ petition.
Advocate Mumtaz Ahmed, who appeared for the Muslim side, said that carbon dating of the object cannot be done as if it gets damaged during the process, it would amount to the defiance of the order of the Supreme Court.