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Bhojshala: Exclude what was added to premises after 2003, Muslim body tells ASI

Dhar: A Muslim organisation has approached the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during its ongoing survey at the contentious Bhojshala/Kamal Maula Mosque complex in Dhar urging it to exclude any items added to the premises post-2003.

Following directives from the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the ASI team, accompanied by senior police and administrative officials, continued the survey on Sunday, March 24, for the third consecutive day at the disputed complex located in the tribal-dominated district.

Hindu petitioners Ashish Goyal and Gopal Sharma also arrived at the Bhojshala complex.

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Amid tightened security measures by the police, president of the Kamal Maula Mosque Welfare Society, Abdul Samad, a key party in the legal battle, communicated his reservations to the ASI through an email on Saturday.

“Our objection is that the ASI should not include in the survey the objects put up inside Bhojshala after 2003. I have sent my objections through an email,” he said.

During the survey, Samad highlighted concerns about the division of ASI teams within the complex, advocating for consolidated efforts instead.

“I am the sole representative of the mosque welfare society present during the survey. My contention is that the ASI teams should concentrate their efforts in a single location rather than spreading out,” he told reporters.

The survey began on Friday following an order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

On March 11, the Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the ASI to carry out within six weeks a ‘scientific survey’ of the Bhojshala complex, a medieval-era monument that Hindus believe is a temple of Goddess Vagdevi (Saraswati) and the Muslim community calls Kamal Maula Mosque.

As per an ASI order issued on April 7, 2003, Hindus are allowed to worship inside the Bhojshala complex every Tuesday, while Muslims are allowed to offer namaz at the site on Fridays.

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