Gyanvapi survey: Muslim side wants restriction on media coverage

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Varanasi, 9 Aug: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) continued its scientific assessment of the Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi for the seventh day in a row to ascertain whether the mosque was built atop a pre-existing Hindu temple construction.

Meanwhile, the Muslim petitioners have asked a district court judge to prohibit media coverage of the study.

“The ASI survey is being conducted in accordance with the court’s orders, and no official statement has been issued by any officer.

However, the survey has received constant coverage on social media, television, and newspapers,” the Muslim side stated in its submission. The Muslim plaintiffs stated the media coverage of the survey was ‘misleading’ and that it would affect people’s opinions and must be prevented.

The ASI crew measured the domes and basement of the Gyanvapi complex, as well as the northern walls, on the sixth day of the survey.

The ASI team is measuring and mapping places using machinery, including 3D imaging tools, and has photographed complicated structures. The activists and claimants have been told to keep quiet about the ASI survey. Members of the Muslim community were also present during the survey. They refused to participate in the poll on the first day.

According to a government attorney, the crew separated into three groups and assessed the complex’s northern wall, dome, and basements. According to the court decision, the Hindu side’s lawyer, Vishnu Shankar Jain, is conducting a rigorous scientific research inside the premises.

Another lawyer stated that the ASI team is gathering evidence and that, in addition to the complex’s dome and pavilion, the basements have been examined.

Previously, the ASI photographed and videotaped the trident (trishul), swastika, bell, and a flower-like symbol etched on the Gyanvapi complex’s walls and pillars. ASI authorities also documented the symbols’ building style.

The Allahabad High Court denied on August 3 a plea by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which oversees Gyanvapi, challenging a lower court judgement asking the ASI to survey the mosque. The next day, the Supreme Court affirmed the high court’s decision.