AIMC urges Varanasi DM to stop ASI survey of Gyanvapi Mosque complex
The district administration cannot intervene as the matter is sub-judice. It can also not give any instruction to the ASI, says district magistrate
VARANASI The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee (AIMC) on Wednesday wrote a letter to the district magistrate seeking to stop the ASI’s survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.
The mosque committee stated the survey being done by the ASI after September 2 is “null and void because the heritage body filed an application in the Varanasi district court seeking another eight weeks’ time on which hearing is on September 8.”
“So far, neither the time period was extended by the court nor any order was passed to continue the survey. The survey conducted by the ASI in the Gyanvapi mosque after September 2 was null and void. Hence, we requested the district administration to stop the survey,” stated AIMC joint secretary SM Yaseen.
“The district administration cannot intervene as the matter is sub-judice. It can also not pass any instruction to the ASI. This has been communicated to them (AIMC office-bearers),” said S Rajalingam, district magistrate, Varanasi.
The committee stated that the ASI was to submit a report of the survey on September 2, but it filed an application in the Varanasi district court seeking eight weeks’ time for submitting the report. As the district judge was on leave, the matter was put up before the court of additional district judge-I. The ADJ ordered to put up the matter before the court of district judge. On September 4, the application was placed before the district judge. The court ordered to put up the file on the next date of hearing - September 8, said Yaseen.
On September 4, the AIMC had filed an objection against the ASI’s application in the Varanasi district court seeking more time to complete the ongoing scientific survey of Gyanvapi mosque complex.
The committee alleged that the ASI was carrying out digging activities in the basement of the mosque complex, which was in violation of the directions of the Allahabad high court and Supreme Court.
Digging in the mosque premises and removing soil from the basement of Gyanvapi complex were contrary to the affidavit given as an undertaking by ASI in the Allahabad high court, said Akhlaque Ahmad, another AIMC counsel.
Standing counsel for the Union government, Amit Kumar Srivastava, who had filed the application on behalf of ASI seeking additional time to submit its survey report, rejected the Muslim side’s claim of digging activities.
“The ASI is conducting the survey following the order of court. It has not carried out any sort of digging in any part of the Gyanvapi mosque premises,” he told HT.
Since August 4, the central agency has been carrying out the survey in the barricaded portions of the Gyanvapi complex, excluding the sealed section, in consonance with the court’s order. The survey was ordered to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.