- A Shivling was found during a court-mandated survey at the Gyanvapi Masjid
- The court directed that the area where the Shivling was found should be sealed
- The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple
A local court in Varanasi has directed the local administration to seal the area inside the Gyanvapi Masjid near the Kashi Vishwanath temple where a Shivling was found during the three-day video survey.
As the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex was completed on Monday, the Hindu side advocates claimed that a Shivling had been found inside the well. Lawyer Vishnu Jain approached the civil court seeking the protection of the Shivling.
The court in its order directed the District Magistrate to immediately seal the site where a Shivling was found and prohibit the entry of visitors. The court also directed Varanasi DM, Police Commissioner, Police Commissionerate and CRPF Commandant to ensure the security of the sealed area.
Even though advocate commissioners were tight-lipped over the survey work and reiterated that their findings will be informed to the court on Tuesday, Sohan Lal Arya, petitioner in the Gyanvapi case, told reporters that conclusive evidence had been found during the survey. "Baba mil gaye," he said.
An advocate from the Hindu side, Madan Mohan Yadav, claimed that the Shivling is Nandi faced. "The Shivling is 12 feet by 8 inches in diameter," he added.
On Saturday and Sunday, the survey of the areas of the mosque which, according to lawyers Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Jain, used to be a part of the temple was done. On Monday, the pond inside the mosque which Muslims use for Waju (an exercise that involves washing the hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, head and feet with water before Namaz) was drained for the survey. It is being claimed that Shivling was found in the pond.
On the western wall of the Gyanvapi complex, the remains of the Hindu temple demolition were found. For this, the fourth lock was opened on Monday, while the first three rooms were opened during the survey on Saturday.
Gyanvapi Mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, is currently facing a legal battle. A court in Varanasi has directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to probe the structure of the Gyanvapi Masjid. The survey is to find out the truth behind the claims of the presence of Hindu symbols of worship in the mosque complex.
Five women -- Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021, seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols of Hindu deities on its outer walls. They also sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.