On Friday morning, around 7:00 AM, a team from the Archaeological Survey of India began the court-ordered scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple amid heavy police force deployment.
It is worth noting that there was no participation from the caretaker of the mosque, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee in the survey proceedings, which said that they will not take part in the survey carried on by the ASI, as their appeal against the Allahabad High Court order is supposed to be heard by the Supreme Court on the same day.
"The survey team arrived at the site around 7 A.M. amid heavy police force deployment in the area," a district administration official said. The mosque committee had not yet turned over the keys to the mosque, thus there was some delay. It was cleared by 9 A.M., and the survey then began."
The Allahabad High Court dismissed a challenge by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee on Thursday, clearing the way for the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker's bench reinstated the Varanasi district court's July 21 judgment, which also directed the ASI to determine if the present structure"was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.
In the Court's opinion, the scientific survey/investigation proposed by the Commission is necessary in the interest of justice and will benefit both plaintiffs and defendants alike, as well as assist the trial court in reaching a just decision," the bench ruled.
"We had written to the district administration on Thursday informing them that our appeal is supposed to be heard by the Supreme Court on Friday and we had requested them to halt the survey until the matter is heard by the top court," S M Yasin, Joint Secretary, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, said on Friday morning.
However, the administration has continued with the survey. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant us redress."
The Hindu side in the Gyanvapi controversy asserts that there is a Jyotirlinga of Adi Vishweshwar that is 100 feet tall beneath it and that arrangements should be made for Lord Vishweshwar to be worshipped on a regular basis.
The Gyanvapi mosque complex is still the subject of debate since the Hindu side has demanded that all of the buildings in the complex be turned over to Hindus and that Muslim admission to Gyanvapi be prohibited.
Along with this, the Hindu side asserts that the mosque's dome should be destroyed.
The Hindu side claims that a mosque was built by demolishing the temple and the Gyanvapi complex should be handed over to the Hindus.
The Hindu side says that the Worship Act of 1991 does not apply and it is being said that Shivling is found in Vaju food.
The Muslim side counters that the Hindu side's argument is completely without merit and that the Gyanvapi issue is not worth debating.
Shivling, on the other hand, is claimed to be replaced at Gyanvapi by a fountain, not a 'Shivling'.