Varanasi: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has sought an extension of 15 days from a court in Varanasi to file a report on the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
The ASI told the court that the report on the mosque survey was nearly complete and only the preparation of a report conducted by GPR was under process. It said that it had completed a scientific survey of the site.
From August 4, the ASI carried out a survey of the Gyanvapi premises, except the wazookhana, (a small reservoir for Muslim devotees to perform ritual ablutions) to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The survey was completed on November 3.
The mosque is located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
This survey was initiated after the Allahabad High Court allowed the ASI to continue its survey on the Gyanvapi mosque premises, upholding an order from a Varanasi district court.
The High Court determined that the step was deemed “essential in the pursuit of justice” and could be advantageous for both the Hindu and Muslim communities involved.
The ASI had started the survey on July 24, but it was stayed within hours by the Supreme Court after the mosque committee approached it, allowing time for the committee to appeal against the lower court’s order.
The counsel for the mosque committee had expressed his apprehension that the survey and excavation would cause damage to the structure. The Centre has assured the Supreme Court that the survey will not alter the structure in any way.