The controversy of Gyanvapi masjid got deeper on the fourth day when the advocate commissioner doing the survey ordered by the court found “Shivling” in front of Nandi Bhagwan in the Gyanvapi complex.
A member of the team surveying the complex, Senior Advocate Harishanka Jain rushed to the court to have the area sealed immediately so that it is not tempered with. To make sure miscreants do not manage to destroy what has been found, in a real rush, a handwritten application was submitted (see it attached to the Order of the judgement made in Hindi).
The Hindu group – applicants in this case and their lawyers claim they findings of the survey will prove beyond reasonable doubt that the masjid is an encroachment on the iconic temple.
To preserve the state of what has been found during the survey, the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar granted the application and ordered the District Magistrate, Varanasi to seal the area where the “Shivling” has been found and to prohibit the entry of people into the area.
Granting the application in full, the Court also directed that the District Magistrate, the Police Commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to ensure that the sealed area is safe.
“Application under 78 G is allowed. The District Magistrate, Varanasi is ordered to seal the place where the Shivling has been recovered with immediate effect and the entry of any person is prohibited in the sealed place. District Magistrate, Varanasi, Commissioner of Police, Police Commissionerate, Varanasi and CRPF, Commandant, Varanasi are ordered to all the above officers will be considered personally responsible for protecting the place which has been sealed,” the order said.
The suit has been filed by a group of five women led by Rakhi Singh claiming the mosque houses Hindu deities and Hindus should be allowed to do worship and puja at the site.
The application by the Hindu ladies was filed in August 2021 which has been fiercely fought against by the masjid committee at each step, including a challenge in the Allahabad High Court which was dismissed on April 21, 2022 by Justice Jahangir Jamshed Munir.
The masjid committee had challenged the orders passed by the civil court in Varanasi including the appointment of the advocate commissioner appointed to do the videography survey among other things.
After the appeal against the order was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on April 21, the court in Varanasi had fixed May 10 as the date by which the videography and survey was to be completed.
When the advocate commissioner and his team arrived at the site, on May 6 and 7, the masjid committee and its followers obstructed the execution.
The team went back to the judge Diwakar and sought appropriate orders to complete the survey and videography. Judge Diwakar then ordered access to all areas of the complex as prayed in the application and ordered the locks to be broken in case the keys are not available to execute the order in time. He sought the report by May 17.
The survey completed yesterday including the biggest find of “Shivling” which has been there for more than 2000 years and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas – forms of Lord Shiva the most revered by Hindus all over the world.
The masjid committee has filed an application in the Supreme Court of India which is also coming up for mention or hearing on May 17.
The masjid committee is of the view that the survey and videography will pave the way for Hindus to claim the iconic temple back.
The proof of the structure being a completely Hindu structure is beyond any doubt. The architecture of the building, the Hindu symbols and carvings on it, the foundation of the walls where the masjid has been superimposed as shown by the evidence – all point to Hindu structure.
Speaking on television, senior advocate Harishankar Jain made it clear that the intention of Hindus is to go all the way – but legally – to claim the complex back for Hindus as it originally was before Mughal emperors damaged and destroyed it. The very name of the masjid – Gyanvapi – is in fact a Hindu word signifying the imparting of the supreme knowledge (Gyan) by Lord Shiva to Goddess Ma Gauri. The water collection there – Vapi – represents the reservoir of Gyan – knowledge.
The path – seems clearer, though long for Hindus and the legal battlefield is no doubt set already.
A lot will depend on what the Supreme Court says.