Gyanvapi mosque survey news: Amid fast changing developments in the Gyanvapi mosque survey case, a new twist emerged on Tuesday (May 17) when a Varanasi court ordered to remove Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed the court as advocate commissioner for video survey of the mosque.
Interestingly, the Muslim side had earlier objected to Mishra's appointment and sought his dismissal. However, the court has then rejected the appeal.
Why was Ajay Kumar Mishra removed
The Varanasi court, while ordering Mishra's removal, underlined three broad reasons. The court said that Mishra failed to perform his duty responsibly and he als also didn't co-operate with authorities. The most important observation that the court made was that Mishra engaged a private cameraman during the mosque survey which resulted leak of sensitive videos.
Did no wrong: Advocate Mishra
Shortly after court's order of his removal, Mishra broke his silence denying any wrongdoings. He blamed advovcate Vishal Singh for court's action against him.
"I've not done anything that reveals the secrecy of the matter. I was removed because of the allegations of Advocate Vishal Singh. I will respect the Court order. Whatever has happened is only because of Vishal," Ajay Mishra told news agency ANI.
"The photographer I had hired, cheated me. I was cheated by the one I trusted. What can I do about that?" news agency PTI quoted Mishra, as saying.
Shivling or fountain?
The team that was tasked to complete the video survey of Gyanvapi mosque was scheduled to submit its report to Varanasi court on Tuesday, however, it sought more time to give final touches to the report, which was granted by the court. The three-day survey began on Saturday and concluded on Monday (May 16) amid heavy security deployment in the area.
Lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners claimed a Shivling was found there during the court-mandated videography survey. On the other hand, a mosque management committee member disputed the claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the 'wazookhana' reservoir -– where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.
In Delhi, the Supreme Court, hearing a plea of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid which manages Gyanvapi mosque, directed Varanasi District Magistrate to ensure protection of area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where 'Shivling' is said to be found in the survey and allowed Muslims to offer namaz.
Where is Gyanvapi mosque
The Gyanvapi mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.
(With inputs from agencies)