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Varanasi court fixes Feb 15 for hearing plea seeking ASI survey of Gyanvapi basements

The Hindu side claimed that there are "secret cellars" inside the basements and it is necessary to survey them to reveal the entire truth of the Gyanvapi mosque. According to the petition, there are "secret cellars" inside the basements that must be surveyed to uncover the full truth about the Gyanvapi mosque, which Hindus allege was built on the remnants of a pre-existing temple.

Varanasi court fixes Feb 15 for hearing plea seeking ASI survey of Gyanvapi basements gcw
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First Published Feb 8, 2024, 3:01 PM IST

A Varanasi court set February 15 for the hearing of a plea filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a study of all closed basements in the Gyanvapi mosque complex. According to the petition, there are "secret cellars" inside the basements that must be surveyed to uncover the full truth about the Gyanvapi mosque, which Hindus allege was built on the remnants of a pre-existing temple.

The counsel for the Hindu side, Madan Mohan Yadav, said acting District Judge Anil Kumar has fixed February 15 as the next date of hearing on the petition. He stated that, in response to Rakhi Singh's plea, attorneys discovered eight basements in the Gyanvapi complex that had not previously been examined.

According to Yadav, the district court ordered an ASI assessment of the whole Gyanvapi mosque complex save for "wazu khana," however it could not be carried out in eight basements that were shut owing to Muslim protests.

The management committee's attorneys for the Gyanvapi mosque voiced their disapproval of the survey's request. They stated there was no need to order a survey of the other basements. The district court set the following date after hearing both parties.

One of the parties in the Maa Shringar Gauri case, which prompted the ASI to inspect the complex, is the petitioner, Rakhi Singh, a founding member of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh. She requested in the petition that the ASI inspect every closed cellar in the Gyanvapi mosque complex, which is next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, according to her attorney Anupam Dwivedi. 

A map of the closed basements has also been included in the petition. The southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque was opened last week and a priest performed prayers.

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