NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 21, 2023 (NDTV): The Varanasi District Court today allowed a scientific survey of the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), except the barricaded wazukhana ( pool in a mosque) where a structure claimed by Hindu litigants to be a Shivling exists, allowing a petition by four women worshippers who want to find out as to whether the Mosque had been constructed over a pre-existing structure of the Hindu temple. The court asked the ASI to submit its scientific report by August 4. The order is likely to be challenged in higher courts [HPI note: but is underway today, the 24th]. The Supreme Court last year directed the sealing of the wazukhana area.

The application was moved in May this year by four women worshippers, who claimed the Gyanvapi Mosque, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, had signs of an ancient Hindu temple. The application stated that Swayambhu Jyotirlinga existed at the site for thousands of years, however, the same was destroyed/damaged several times by “Muslim Invaders who had hatred against infidels and idol worshippers beginning with the attack of Mahmud Ghazni in 1017 AD”. The application further states that “one of the most fanatic and cruel Mughal Emperors, Aurangzeb” issued Farman (decree) in 1669 to demolish the Temple of Lord Adivisheshwar at the site in question and in pursuance of his command, his subordinates carried out the order by demolishing the aforesaid Temple.