The Gyanvapi mosque survey by the country’s top archaeology body should be done using a “non-invasive method”, the Supreme Court said today.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been given four weeks to submit its report to a court in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, which ordered the survey on July 21.
The mosque committee had challenged the district court’s survey order in the Allahabad High Court. On Thursday, the high court dismissed the request by the mosque committee, which sought to stop the district court’s order directing the ASI to conduct the survey to determine if the mosque was built on a pre-existing temple.
The committee finally went to the Supreme Court, which heard the matter today.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee said the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will go into history and will “reopen wounds of the past”.
“… History has taught us something. What happened in December 1992, that raises suspicion and distrust at every step,” the mosque committee’s lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi said. “The ASI survey intends to go into the history as to what happened 500 years ago. It would reopen wounds of past,” Mr Ahmadi said.
“Let’s not get into the past now,” a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra replied.
After the Supreme Court ordered the ASI to use a non-invasive method in its survey, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ASI and the UP government, promised no excavation work will be done and no structure inside the mosque will be harmed.
The ASI today resumed its scientific survey of the Gyanvapi compound. The survey began at 7 am; it stopped for two hours between 12 pm and 2 pm to allow for Friday prayers, news agency PTI reported.
A large number of security personnel has been deployed by the district authorities to ensure law and order near the Gyanvapi complex.