Varanasi: A court commissioner’s team on Saturday visited the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri temple complex here and stayed there for over two hours but failed to conduct a videographic-survey of the mosque due to protest by Muslim men.
The Muslims protested against the survey even as the mosque management committee moved a Varanasi district court seeking the appointment of a different court commissioner, other than the present one, Ajay Kumar Mishra.
After hearing the plea this morning to change the court commissioner, Varanasi’s Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar reserved his order for May 9.
Court-appointed commissioner Mishra along with lawyers representing both the Hindu and Muslim sides went inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri temple complex. But, after spending nearly two hours inside the complex, they came out without accomplishing the task.
Vishnu Jain, a lawyer from the Hindu side who had gone inside the complex with the surveyor told reporters that Muslim men present in the mosque did not allow the team to enter the mosque area for its videography and survey as per the court’s order.
He alleged that the district administration did not help either the survey team do its job.
Jain said they would tell the court on May 9 about the matter and would ask for specific order to carry out the videography and survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.
Police earlier held a Muslim man raising religious slogans when the survey team was entering the mosque-temple complex and whisked him to a police station.
The videography and survey exercise is being done on the same court’s earlier order on a plea by Delhi-based women Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others seeking permission for performing daily worship of deities Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi located whose idols are located on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.
They had moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021 and had sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.
The counsel for the mosque management committee (Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid), Abhay Nath Yadav told reporters that the court had not given any order to do the videography inside the mosque but to do it till the ‘chabutra’ (courtyard) outside the barricading.
Yadav said, ”The videography and survey started at around 4.00 pm Yesterday and the videography was done till the ‘chabutra’ on the western side of the mosque. ”After that, when the commissioner made an effort to go inside the mosque by getting its entrance door opened, I opposed it, pointing out that the court has not given any such order under which videography can be done inside the mosque,” he said.
”The court-appointed commissioner claimed he has the orders to open the locks and get videography done. But, the truth is that there is no such order like this, hence I raised questions on the impartiality of the court commissioner,” Yadav said.
Litigant friends of the Hindu side Vijay Shankar Rastogi said, ”The court while hearing the plea seeking to change the court commissioner, has reserved its order.” ”The court-appointed commissioner is discharging his responsibility with honesty. An application was moved on behalf of the Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Committee to create hurdles for him, accusing him of colluding with petitioners,” he added.
Rastogi also said the survey will take place as the court has not put any kind of ban on it.
The court commissioner had on Friday conducted a videographic survey of some areas outside Gyanvapi Masjid in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex.