After the survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded, lawyers on Monday claimed that a Shivling was found in the Gyanvapi mosque. “It was the third day of the survey. A stone was found there. We are claiming it to be Shivling. It is around 3 feet tall. It was at the spot where Muslims performed wuzu. They had claimed it to be a fountain but after cleaning it was found to be a Shivling,” lawyer Deepak Singh said. “We have filed an appeal before the court that this place be secured as it can be tampered with. The court has ordered the same,” Singh added.
Advocate Subhash Chandra Chaturvedi, who was part of the survey team, said that the team found a pond and there is a well-like structure in the middle of the pond. “They claimed it is a fountain. We raised the doubt that the fountain is constructed at the top but how can it be inside the water. After the water was removed, a black Shivling-like stone was found. It is
ly the Shivling of Adi Viseshwar. They claimed it was a fountain. But we are certain that the Shivling must be very deep under the ground. We had apprehensions that the Shivling might be tampered. Therefore, the administration has been requested to cordon off that area and keep it safe,” Chaturvedi said.
As the third day of the court-ordered videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday, the Hindu petitioner in the case, Sohan Lal Arya claimed that the committee found a Shivling at the complex. Arya, who accompanied the court commission for the mosque survey, said that they have found “conclusive evidence”. This comes a day ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on a plea seeking a stay on the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. A bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, is scheduled to hear the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee on 17 May. However, the court appointed commission is unlikely to submit a report before court on the said day. As per sources, they will seek more time from the court for the same. The three-day long survey, however, has been completed.
Speaking to media persons here, Arya said, “Shivling….Jiski Nandi pratiksha kar rahi thi… The moment things became clear the chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’ resonated in mosque premises.” The survey was conducted in accordance with the Varanasi Civil Court’s order to continue the survey despite objections from the mosque authorities.
After the conclusion of the survey, the Varanasi court ordered the District Magistrate of Varanasi, Kaushal Raj Sharma, “to seal the area where the Shivling was found and to bar people from going to the place.” In its order, the court said that the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area. In its order, the court has asked the administration to immediately seal the place, the number of prayers should be limited to 20, and banning the use of the place for wuzu. Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar ordered the District Magistrate and Police Commissioner to immediately get the said site sealed by CRPF. At the same time, after the order of the court, security of Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi Masjid has been increased. Apart from police, PAC, central paramilitary forces and intelligence system have become active.
Another petition, which was filed by one Vijay Shankar Rastogi, had contended that the entire premises belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and that the Gyanvapi Mosque is only a part of the temple complex, is pending in the court since 1991. Rastogi had also claimed that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple had been built over two thousand years ago and the temple was demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Advocate Vishal Singh, the Court-appointed special assistant commissioner, in Varanasi, said that the survey was conducted in an unhindered manner. Commissioner of Police Varanasi, Satish Ganesh thanked the people of Kashi for their cooperation during the three-day survey, and said, “We spoke with all stakeholders and reached a consensus that it’s important to follow court’s order. We also cleared people’s misconceptions and worked on confidence building. The three-day survey has ended.”
The Muslim side will go to the Allahabad High Court against the decision to seal the Vazukhana of the Gyanvapi masjid. The Muslim side will challenge the order of the Varanasi Civil Court in the Allahabad High Court and will try to take a stay on the decision.
During the survey at Gyanvapi in Varanasi, the Shivling found in a room has proved itself that it is a temple, Alok Kumar, International Working President and Senior Advocate of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), has said. He said that the Shivling was found in the presence of both the parties and their lawyers; therefore the place with Shivling is a temple. This fact has itself proved that the temple is still there and was there in 1947 also, he claimed. He has expressed hope that all the countrymen will accept and respect this evidence found during the survey in Gyanvapi. Kumar said that since the matter is still in the court, it would not be appropriate to make any other comments.
The court’s order to survey Gyanvapi Mosque and sealing of the Wazukhana is utter injustice to Muslims and Muslims won’t tolerate it, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said.
(With agency inputs)