The Gyanvapi mosque committee today filed an affidavit before the Varanasi court over a plea by Hindu petitioners asking for demolition inside the mosque. Objecting to the controversial ‘shivling’ claims by petitioners, it said calling it a shivling is not within the rights of petitioners or the court commissioner.
The report of the filming of the Gyanvapi Masjid was submitted to a court this morning in a case involving a request by Hindu petitioners to worship idols inside the mosque complex.
The affidavit states that no further plea should have been filed by petitioners before a decision based on the court commissioner’s report.
“Any demolition of the mosque wall will lead to the collapse of the mosque…Any demolition will hurt the sentiments of Muslims and spoil the atmosphere,” it says.
Pointing out that the responsibility of law and order lies with the court, it calls the ‘shivling’ claims fictional. “Request the court not to pass orders based on these claims,” it said.
The affidavit says that the demolition request is inadmissible as the survey report hasn’t been released and all parties had publicly said that they were satisfied by the filming process as all measurements have been taken from the fountain that the petitioners claim is a ‘shivling’.
The basement has also been filmed and photographed twice over two days, it says. If the demolition plea is admitted, it would be in violation of The Places of Worship Act, 1991, and also against the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Ayodhya temple hearing, which in itself is contempt of court, it said.
It also says that it’s astonishing that even when the survey report is not out yet, the media is showing visuals of the filming process describing the fountain as a ‘shivling’.
The survey report, in three folders, was submitted to the court today in a sealed cover by the team that filmed the mosque complex. A chip with videos and photographs of the filming was also handed over, Vishal Singh, the court-appointed commissioner, told NDTV.
The Varanasi court was told, however, not to pass any orders for now by the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition by the mosque committee challenging the Gyanvapi complex filming. The Supreme Court said it would take up the case tomorrow after the lawyers for the Hindu petitioners asked for an adjournment.
The Varanasi court is hearing a petition by five Hindu women who have requested access to the Gyanvapi mosque complex – located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple – to worship idols on its outer walls.
One of the lawyers involved in the filming at the mosque has claimed that a “Shivling” was found inside a pond traditionally used for “Wazoo” or Islamic purification rituals before namaaz.