Varanasi Court Sets Feb 15 for Gyanvapi Basements Plea: A Varanasi court set February 15 as the date for hearing a petition asking the Archaeological Scan of India (ASI) to scan all the closed basements in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
The appeal says that there are “secret cellars” in the basements that need to be explored in order to find out the whole truth about the Gyanvapi mosque, which Hindus say was built on the remains of an earlier temple.
Varanasi Court Sets Feb 15 for Gyanvapi Basements Plea Hearing
Madan Mohan Yadav, the lawyer for the Hindu side, said that the next hearing on the case will be on February 15. This was set by acting District Judge Anil Kumar.
Lawyers for Rakhi Singh said that there are eight basements in the Gyanvapi building that have not been surveyed before, he said.
He said that in a case from 1991, the high court had ruled that the rest of the survey be done.
When asked why there should be a survey, the lawyers for the Gyanvapi mosque management group said there was no such order from the high court.
They said there was no reason to order a survey of the other levels.
The district court set the next date after hearing both sides.
Rakhi Singh is one of the founders of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh and one of the parties in the Maa Shringar Gauri case, which is what made the ASI look at the complex.
Her lawyer, Anupam Dwivedi, said that in the plea, she asked the ASI to check out all the closed cellars in the Gyanvapi mosque complex, which is next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The document also has a map of the basements that are closed off. After five female followers asked the court to do so, the ASI was told to do a study of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, excluding the wazukhana, which is used for ritual washing before namaz.
Last week, the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque was made public, and a priest said prayers there.
Shailendra Kumar Pathak asked the court to let regular prayers happen in the cellar because his maternal grandpa, priest Somnath Vyas, used to pray there until December 1993.
Pathak’s lawyer says that the priest couldn’t get into the cellar while Mulayam Singh Yadav was Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister.
The prayers in the cellar are led by a priest chosen by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust.
Hindu lawyers say that the Gyanvapi mosque was built on the site of a temple that was burned by Aurangzeb. The most recent ASI study also said that the mosque might have been built on the remains of a temple that was there before.