Found stone carvings of gods in Gyanvapi complex, says Mishra report
Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was removed by the Varanasi civil court over an alleged leak of details of the exercise, submitted the report of the first two days of the survey in the court late on Wednesday.
LUCKNOW: Possible remnants of an old Hindu temple with several stone carvings of gods and goddesses were found in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi during a two-day survey by former advocate commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra on May 6 and 7, said people aware of developments on Thursday.
Mishra, who was removed by the Varanasi civil court over an alleged leak of details of the exercise, submitted the report of the first two days of the survey in the court late on Wednesday.
The people quoted above, who have first-hand knowledge of the submitted report, also said that Mishra outlined the resistance faced by the team in conducting the exercise, which was ordered by the court on a petition by five Hindu women seeking worshipping rights within the mosque complex.
To be sure, HT has not seen a copy of the report submitted by Mishra to the court. A person with direct knowledge of Mishra’s report said it cited the presence of four idol-like structures with ‘Sinduri’ and a possible arrangement for lighting diyas. It also referred to three-four sculptures and stone slabs that local people believe were remnants of the ‘Sringar Gauri’ temple, the person added, requesting anonymity.
The survey was ordered by the Varanasi civil court in April on a 2021 petition by five women who sought daily prayers and worship rights at the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal, a shrine dedicated to Hindu goddess Parvati behind the western wall of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex. Some Hindu groups believe the temple was partially razed to build the 17th-century mosque.
Mishra’s report is the first of the two reports received by civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar who ordered the survey. On Thursday, special court commissioner Vishal Singh and assistant court commissioner Ajai Pratap Singh submitted a 14-page report and two pen drives containing video clips and photographs. The report by Vishal Singh details the survey conducted on May 14, 15 and 16.
On Tuesday, the court removed Mishra for displaying “irresponsible behaviour towards the discharge of his duties” following allegations that a cameraman hired by him leaked information about the survey proceedings to the media.
The decades-old dispute reached a tipping point on Monday after Hindu petitioners claimed that that a Shivling was found in the ceremonial ablution tank of the mosque, prompting the civil court to seal the premises. The Supreme Court later ordered protection for the spot but clarified that Muslim worshippers couldn’t be stopped from offering namaz on the premises. The apex court will hear the case next on Friday.