A Varanasi court has given a 10-day extension to the Archaeological Survey of India to file a report on its findings in the Gyanvapi mosque premises. This is the fourth time the archaeological body got an extension to file the report on its scientific survey, which was completed a month ago.
Two days ago, the ASI had asked for 21 days’ extension, which was opposed by the mosque committee.
The survey was ordered by a Varanasi court on July 21, after four women sought permission to pray at the premises.
In April last year, the court ordered a video survey of the complex on basis of their petition. The survey conducted in May revealed a structure in the Wuzukhana, that the petitioners claimed was a ‘shivling’.
The Wuzuhana has been kept out f bounds for the scientific survey by an order of the Supreme Court.
The mosque is located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Right-wing activists claim a temple existed at the site and was demolished in the 17th century on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
After Ayodhya and Mathura, Gyanvapi is the third temple-mosque row, which propelled the BJP to national prominence in the ’80s and ’90s.
A case is already being heard in Uttar Pradesh on the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Masjid Idgah dispute.
The petitioners claim that it has been built at the birthplace of Lord Krishna, within the 13.37-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple.
Several petitions have been filed in local courts seeking the shifting of the mosque.