Gyanvapi mosque survey: On idols' fragments claim, Muslim side's sharp reaction | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Gyanvapi mosque survey: On idols' fragments claim, Muslim side's strong reaction

Aug 06, 2023 02:59 PM IST

Muhammad Yasin of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee alleged that some people were trying to vitiate the atmosphere by broadcasting "baseless news".

Advocate Mumtaz Ahmad, representing the Muslim side in the Gyanvapi mosque survey, on Sunday hit out at the Hindu representatives for allegedly “spreading rumours” that fragments of idols have been found in the debris inside the complex.

Police personnel stand guard at Gyanvapi mosque as Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) resumes scientific survey of the complex in Varanasi. (ANI Photo)
Police personnel stand guard at Gyanvapi mosque as Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) resumes scientific survey of the complex in Varanasi. (ANI Photo)

"My representative is present there... Rumours are being spread even for areas where a survey is yet to be done, that an idol has been found or a trident has been found (inside the Gyanvapi mosque)... When the public sees this, there will be a frenzy... The administration should look into this, it is their duty to maintain law and order," Ahmad told news agency ANI.

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Muhammad Yasin, joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, said, “I want to inform the citizens of the entire country those who believe in all constitutional values, that after the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court, we decided to cooperate in the ASI survey and cooperated in the survey for the whole day on Saturday. But some people are trying to vitiate the atmosphere by broadcasting unrestrained and baseless news beyond the truth. It is highly objectionable. if it is not controlled, then we will rethink over our decision on Sunday evening and Will be forced to take the decision of boycotting the survey.”

A lawyer for the Hindu side Sudhir Tripathi on Saturday claimed that not idols, but fragments of idols have been found in the debris. "We are quite hopeful that idols will also be recovered... The Intezamia Masjid Committee is cooperating... they gave the keys which they were not giving earlier," he said.

Another lawyer of the Hindu side Subhash Nandan told reporters that the ASI team examined the central hall under the main dome.

Varanasi court grants ASI additional four weeks

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday continued the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, abutting the Kashi Vishwanath temple, amid tight security, even as the Varanasi district court granted the Union government agency an additional four weeks to submit its report by September 2. A 41-member ASI team began the survey at 8am and it lasted till 5pm. The process was stopped at 12.30pm for two hours to allow Muslim devotees to pray at the 17th-century mosque. The ASI team resumed the survey at 2.30pm.

For the first time, representatives of the Muslim side also took part in the survey process. Mumtaz Ahmad and Akhlaque Ahmad, counsel for Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, also accompanied the survey team. The Muslim side did not participate in the survey on Friday.

Late on Friday night, Yasin said in a letter that they would cooperate in the survey work, honouring the order of the Supreme Court.

"Keeping in mind the Supreme Court's orders refusing to stay the survey work, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid has unanimously decided that while honouring the orders of the Supreme Court, it will cooperate with the ASI in the survey work," he said.

"It is hoped that the orders of the honourable court will be impartially complied with, and our mosque will not be damaged. Along with this, our religious rights will remain protected as per previous orders of the court," Yasin said, appealing to people to maintain peace.

A team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) is assisting the ASI in the survey work.

Supreme Court refuses to stay Allahabad high court order

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad high court order on the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, an exercise that the Muslim side says will "reopen wounds of the past".

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said he hoped that the floodgates for a "thousand Babris" (Babri Masjid) will not be opened after the ASI reports are made public after the survey.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, asked the ASI not to carry out any invasive act during the survey. This ruled out excavations, which the Varanasi court had said can be conducted if necessary.

The Supreme Court's nod on Friday came just hours after an ASI team had already resumed the detailed scientific survey ordered by the Varanasi district court on July 21.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee had challenged the district court's order in the Allahabad High Court, which dismissed its petition on Thursday. The Muslim body then quickly approached the Supreme Court.

On Friday, the Varanasi court also granted the ASI an additional month to complete the survey, extending its original deadline from Friday to September 4.

(With inputs from Sudhir Kumar in Varanasi)

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