Gyanvapi dispute | Varanasi court reserves order on application to carbon-date ‘shivling’

Masjid panel has insisted that the structure in question is part of the fountain in the mosque’s ablution pond

September 29, 2022 08:57 pm | Updated 08:57 pm IST - New Delhi

Police personnel stand guard outside the Varanasi District Court. File

Police personnel stand guard outside the Varanasi District Court. File | Photo Credit: PTI

In the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute, the Varanasi district court on Thursday reserved its orders on an application filed by Hindu plaintiffs seeking a scientific investigation of the disputed structure found inside the mosque premises, which the plaintiffs claim is a Shivling. 

The application was filed by four Hindu plaintiffs in the suit, who are represented by Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain and his team. It sought the scientific examination of the disputed structure by the Archaeological Survey of India and also carbon-dating of the structure to determine the age, constituents and nature of the structure.

Also Read | Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court says Hindu petitioners’ plea maintainable

During the hearing on Thursday, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee opposed the application, arguing that it would violate orders of the Supreme Court, which mandated that the structure and site in question be protected. Further, the masjid panel argued that carbon-dating was not the appropriate test to determine the age of the structure. It has insisted that the structure in question was part of the fountain in the mosque’s wuzu khana (ablution pond), senior advocate Mumtaz Ahmed said.  

The application for scientific examination of the structure was also opposed by Rakhi Singh, the lead plaintiff of the Hindu side in the suit, who argued through her lawyers that any such examination of the disputed structure would in all likelihood cause irreparable damage to it, rendering it not worthy of worship, which would ultimately cause hurt to the sentiment of Hindus, who believe the structure to be a Shivling. 

“The fact that the application questions the nature of the structure itself is defamatory,” Advocate Anupam Dwivedi, who appeared for Ms. Singh on Thursday, said. He added that the original suit was filed seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri and other visible and invisible deities within the mosque premises. Hence, the subject matter of the suit is not the disputed structure, he said.  

Mr. Jain told The Hindu, “We have sought examination of the structure through any and all means possible, specifically without causing any damage to it. It would appear that the other plaintiff and the masjid panel have joined hands.”

District judge A.K. Vishvesha, after hearing arguments, reserved his orders on this application for October 7, when the matter will be taken up next.

‘Idols found during Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project’

Meanwhile, plaintiff Rakhi Singh has filed another application in the suit, claiming that idols of Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi dating back to “thousands of years” had been unearthed from the debris of the Carmichael Library, which was brought down for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor project. 

In this application, the plaintiff has sought the protection of these idols, claiming that the idols are important to prove their case in the ongoing Gyanvapi dispute. The court has sought a report from the district authorities on this and is expected to take it up for hearing on the next date, Mr. Dwivedi said.  

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