Published On: Mon, Dec 18th, 2023

ASI submits sealed report to Varanasi court on Gyanvapi Masjid survey case

New Delhi: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday presented its comprehensive report following a meticulous 92-day scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

On August 4, the Supreme Court refused to halt the ASI’s survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque

The sealed report, now in the hands of Varanasi district Judge AK Vishvesha, holds pivotal evidence regarding the mosque’s origins and its potential connection to a pre-existing Hindu temple.

Post the report’s submission, the Hindu side fervently appealed for its public release and urged the court to provide copies to all involved parties. The court has scheduled the next hearing for December 21, where the fate of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque dispute will likely take a decisive turn.

Simultaneously, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, responsible for managing the Gyanvapi Mosque, has filed a petition seeking access to the survey report. The move reflects the mounting tensions surrounding the case and the significance attached to the findings uncovered during the extensive ASI survey.

ASI’s advocate, Amit Kumar, addressing reporters, emphasized the discovery of compelling evidence suggesting the presence of a temple at the site. Kumar underscored the report’s critical role in settling the longstanding dispute between the Hindu and Muslim factions.

It is noteworthy that the ASI had previously requested additional time to conclude the survey, with Varanasi District Court Judge AK Vishvesh extending the deadline to December 18. The court had, on previous occasions, granted extensions to the ASI, demonstrating the complexity and importance of the investigation.

On August 4, the Supreme Court refused to halt the ASI’s survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque, except for the ‘wuzukhana’ area. The ASI, committed to preserving the structure, assured the court that no excavation would occur at the site, allowing the survey to proceed.

On November 2, the ASI informed the district court of the completion of the survey but requested additional time to compile the report, including details of the equipment used. The findings and conclusions presented in the sealed report are anticipated to be instrumental in shaping the outcome of this historic and contentious case.

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