The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has filed its comprehensive report on the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, as directed to ascertain if the 17th-century structure was constructed upon a pre-existing temple. Rajesh Mishra, Uttar Pradesh government’s special counsel for the Shringar Gauri-Gyanavapi case, confirmed the submission of the report before the Varanasi district court on Monday.
The report, presented in a sealed cover, awaits review by the court. However, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, responsible for overseeing the mosque, emphasized the importance of confidentiality. They urged the judge to ensure the report’s secrecy, requesting that it remain sealed and not be disclosed to any parties unless accompanied by a personal undertaking via affidavit promising non-disclosure.
Akhlaque Ahmad, representing the mosque committee, mentioned that the court is scheduled to address this matter on December 21.
Initially set for submission on December 11, the ASI’s report was postponed due to a request from the ASI itself. The ASI sought an extension of one week citing the unavailability of the superintending archaeologist (Sarnath) Avinash Mohanty, who was indisposed at the time.
The significance of this report lies in its potential to shed light on the historical origins of the Gyanvapi mosque and its relationship to any pre-existing structures, notably in a region known for its historical and cultural importance. The sealed cover approach reflects the sensitivity and the anticipation surrounding the findings, contributing to the ongoing legal proceedings related to the site.