As deadline ends, Gyanvapi survey official to seek more time from UP court

Published on May 17, 2022 10:06 AM IST

Gyanvapi Mosque row: The Supreme Court is also set to hear a petition linked to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A worker stands on a temple rooftop adjacent to the Gyanvapi Mosque in the northern city of Varanasi, India, December 12, 2021. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A worker stands on a temple rooftop adjacent to the Gyanvapi Mosque in the northern city of Varanasi, India, December 12, 2021. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar(REUTERS)

With the deadline ending to submit the survey report in the Gyanvapi mosque dispute in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, a survey official has said that the team won't be able to make the submission on Tuesday. “Survey lasted for three days from May 14-16. Only 50 per cent of the report is ready… and it’s not complete yet. That’s why we won't be able to produce it before the court today. We will seek three-four days of time from the court,” assistant court commissioner Ajay Pratap Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Tuesday.

On Monday, the survey concluded after three days amid huge controversy as lawyers representing Hindu petitioners claimed a “Shivling” was recovered during the survey. A Varanasi court - shortly after - ordered sealing of the surveyed area. “The petitioners’ plea said that on May 16, a Shivling was found inside the masjid complex. This is a very important piece of evidence… district magistrate, Varanasi is ordered to immediately seal the spot from where the Shivling was found and ban the entry of any person,” read the court’s order in Hindi.

However, the mosque management committee rebuffed the claims and said they would challenge the court order. “We strictly followed the order by the court and fully cooperated in the survey. I am deeply pained that the people associated with petitioners are making claims which suit them and leaking details of proceedings of the survey,” said SM Yasin, joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which manages the Gyanvapi Masjid.

The Varanasi court had last week refused to replace the survey official - Ajay Kumar Mishra - accused of bias by the mosque management committee but it had said that two more people will be added to the team for the court-mandated task - Vishal Singh as special advocate commissioner and Ajay Pratap Singh as assistant advocate commissioner. The court had given May 17 deadline for the submission of the report.

The hearing of the dispute has also reached the Supreme Court, and the top court too will hear a petition challenging the survey inside the mosque, close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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