ASI report on Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi case not judgment, says mosque committee

The Gyanvapi masjid committee on Friday said the ASI survey of the mosque, which Hindu side lawyers claim was built on the remains of a pre-existing temple, is just a report and not a judgment.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee said they are studying the ASI survey report after which they would make comments.

Mohd Yasin, secretary of the committee which manages the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, said, “This is just a report and not a ‘faisala’ (judgment). There are several kinds of reports. It is not the final word on the issue.”

He said they would present their views when the Supreme Court hears the matter relating to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

The Act mandates that the “religious character” of a place, except the Ram temple in Ayodhya, cannot be changed from what existed on August 15, 1947.

Responding to the latest developments, BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh on Friday said Muslims should hand over the Gyanvapi mosque site to Hindus, and said no statements should be made that can disrupt communal harmony.

Lawyers of the Hindu petitioners in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi case on Thursday claimed that the report of a scientific survey by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) suggests the mosque was built on the remains of a pre-existing temple.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing four women petitioners in the case, said the 839-page report makes it clear that the mosque, which stands adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, was built on the remains of a grand Hindu temple after it was demolished in the 17th century during the reign of Aurangzeb.

He further claimed that the survey report has sufficient evidence of the existence of a temple at the place where the mosque now stands.

Madan Mohan Yadav, a lawyer representing one of the Hindu petitioners, Rakhi Singh, said during the survey, evidence has been found at 32 places suggesting the existence of a temple there.

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