Varanasi Gyanvapi mosque: The survey started last Friday but has not been fully completed because of a dispute over videography inside the mosque
Varanasi: The video inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque, located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, will continue and should be completed by Tuesday, a local court said today.
Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
- The court has said videography can happen at all places asked for by the petitioners. The lawyers for the petitioners had asked for filming inside the mosque, including its basement.
- The court had ordered an inspection in April this year on petitions by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.
- The survey has to be completed by May 17, the petitioners’ lawyer told NDTV outside the court today.
- The petitioners’ lawyer, Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, told NDTV locks will be broken to make way for the surveyors and action would be taken against anyone who tries to block the process. Members from both sides will go inside and conduct the survey, the lawyer told NDTV.
- The court today said it has decided not to replace the commissioner overseeing the survey. The petitioners’ lawyer told NDTV the court has appointed two more survey commissioners; in total there are three now.
- Abhay Nath Yadav, the lawyer for the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, has called the court order illegal and said lawyers will challenge it very soon.
- The site is currently opened for prayers once a year. The women also want permission to pray to other “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”. The local court had earlier directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10. The survey that started last Friday could not be completed because of the dispute over videography inside the mosque.
- Joint secretary of the mosque committee Syed Mohammad Yasin yesterday said there is barricading all around Gyanvapi masjid and the petitioners want the videography done by opening them.
- The petitioners’ lawyer, Shivam Gaur, had claimed that in an order for videography survey issued by the court on April 26, they could do the survey by going inside the barricading. However, the mosque committee said the court had not given any order for videography inside the mosque, but allowed it only till the courtyard, which is outside the barricades enclosing the mosque area.
- The mosque committee alleged commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra earlier tried to get videography done inside Gyanvapi mosque without court orders.