Gyanvapi Masjid: UP court orders sealing of area surveyed amid ‘Shivling’ claims

Varanasi: A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Monday ordered that a pond in the Gyanvapi Mosque complex be sealed amid reports that a “Shivling” has been found in it.

The Varanasi court-ordered district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma “to seal the area and prohibit the entry of any person to the area.

In its order, the court said the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area.

The direction comes after an advocate filed a petition in the court of civil judge senior division Ravi Kumar Diwakar seeking the area, where some concrete evidence were found, to be protected.

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SM Yasin, joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages Gyanvapi Mosque, said, ” We strictly followed the order by the court and fully cooperated in the survey. I am deeply pained that the people associated with petitioners are making claims which suit them and leaking details of proceedings of the survey.”

The videography survey of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi by a court-appointed panel concluded on the third day on Monday amid elaborate security arrangements.

The civil court had appointed a court commissioner to conduct the survey and videography of the site and the same was challenged before Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the appeal on April 21. The April 21 order of the high court was challenged in the apex court.

Till Sunday, 80 percent of the premises were surveyed in eight hours over two days, a person familiar with the matter said.