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Allowing survey Gyanvapi mosque contempt of Indian Supreme Court’s order: Muslim petitioners

New Delhi, July 24, 2023 (PPI-OT): The management committee of historical Uttar Pradesh’ Gyanvapi mosque on Monday moved an application before the Indian Supreme Court demanding a stay on the archaeological survey of the masjid in Varanasi. This came as a 30-member ASI team began a survey at the Gyanvapi mosque today. They aim to determine if the mosque was built on top of an ancient Hindu temple.

In their application, the Muslim petitioners said similar directions for the ASI survey were earlier deferred by the Supreme Court. The order for a survey, including excavation of the entire premises, is bound to impede access of Muslims to the mosque, the plea stated.

It said it was contrary to the letter and spirit of the orders of the Supreme Court to put into place an interim arrangement while the court was hearing these matters. The Muslim side is seeking an urgent listing of the plea in light of the recent order by a district court directing an ASI survey in the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

The petition also challenges the Allahabad High Court’s decision, which upheld the right of five Hindu women to worship inside the Gyanvapi mosque. Last Friday (July 21), district judge AK Vishvesh directed the ASI to submit a report to the court by August 4, along with videos and photographs of survey proceedings. The Masjid Committee has argued that the district court’s recent order allowing the ASI survey is in clear contempt of the Supreme Court’s May order deferring the survey of a stated shivling.

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