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Relocate mosque, hand over Gyanvapi structure to Hindus: VHP on ASI report

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has demanded the transfer of the Gyanvapi mosque to Hindus following an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report suggesting the existence of a Hindu temple structure at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi.

Relocate mosque, hand over Gyanvapi structure to Hindus: VHP on ASI report
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First Published Jan 27, 2024, 9:13 PM IST

Days after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report indicated the presence of a large Hindu temple structure at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for the transfer of the Gyanvapi structure to Hindus. The ASI survey suggested the existence of a Hindu temple predating the Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh.

Alok Kumar, the VHP working president and senior advocate, demanded the relocation of the Gyanvapi mosque to another suitable place, proposing that the land be handed over to the Kashi Vishwanath Committee or the Hindu society. 

He pointed to the discovery of a Shivlinga in the Wazukhana, emphasizing that the structure does not resemble a mosque. Inscriptions found, including names like Janardana, Rudra, and Umeswara, provide evidence of it being a temple, according to Alok Kumar.

He asserted that the ASI's findings prove the religious character of the place existed on August 15, 1947, and is currently a Hindu Temple, suggesting the structure be declared as such under the Places of Worship Act, 1991.

The VHP's demands include allowing Hindus to offer Sewa Puja to the Shivlinga in the Wazukhana area and urging the Intezamia Committee to shift the Gyanvapi Mosque respectfully to another suitable place, handing over the original site of Kashi Vishvanatha to the Hindu Society.

The ASI's report, which involved a Ground Penetrating Radar survey, raised questions about historical layers on the site, indicating potential modifications to the Hindu temple. The survey, initiated after the Allahabad High Court's approval, took place between August 4 and November 3, excluding the wazookhana. 

The Hindu side sees the ASI's findings as conclusive evidence of the existence of a large Hindu Temple before the construction of the mosque. The inscriptions discovered further suggest connections to an ancient Hindu temple, written in various scripts.

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