The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has challenged a Varanasi court’s decision to conduct an archaeological survey of the centuries-old Gyanvapi Masjid abutting the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple.
On 8 April, the Varanasi court had ordered an archaeological survey of the Gyanvapi complex, saying the exercise was required to decide on pleas that allege the mosque was built by Mughal emperors after partially demolishing a Hindu shrine.
The court said that the committee would be entitled to enter every portion of the religious structure situated at the disputed site but shall first resort to only Ground Penetrating Radar or Geo-Radiology System or both to satisfy itself whether any excavation or extraction work is needed at any portion of the religious structure.
If excavation or extraction is to be done at any portion of the structure, it should be first done by trial trench method vertically and that too at a very small scale and not more than four square feet at a time, the court said.
The order came on a petition demanding the restoration of the land on which the mosque stands to the Hindus claiming that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had pulled down parts of the old Kashi Vishwanath Temple to build the mosque.
The suit was filed in 1991 seeking restoration of the ancient temple at the site where the Gyanvapi Mosque currently stands.