Varanasi: Amid High Security Videography Resumed At Gyanvapi Mosque

Varanasi: Amid High Security Videography Resumed At Gyanvapi Mosque

Varanasi: Officials said the videography survey of Varanasi's Gyanvapi Masjid complex continued today, despite strict security preparations.

For the time being, the mosque management committee has stated that it will work with the team given to the assignment by a local court.

"The authorised persons - all parties, their advocates, court commissioners and videographers - have reached the spot, and the survey has started," District Magistrate of Varanasi Kaushal Raj Sharma told news agency Press Trust of India.

The mosque is next to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, and a group of women has petitioned the local court for permission to worship daily before the idols on the mosque's exterior walls.

Mr Sharma had previously stated that an important meeting with all parties involved took place on Friday, and that an appeal was made to them to participate in the commission's work and the maintenance of law and order.

The survey has also begun, according to A Satish Ganesh, the Police Commissioner of Varanasi.

Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar of the District Civil Court (Senior Division) denied the mosque committee's request to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed lawyer commissioner to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex by him.

The commissioner will be assisted by two more advocates, according to the judge, who expects the survey to be completed by Tuesday.

At the district magistrate's meeting on Friday, lawyers representing the Hindu and Muslim parties were present.

The Supreme Court also refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey on Friday. However, the Supreme Court decided to hear a Muslim party's appeal against the survey.

The survey was put on hold last week after the mosque committee objected, claiming that the advocate commissioner lacked the authority to videotape inside the premises. The committee accused him of bias and requested that he be replaced.

The survey will be carried out by three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers from each side, and an assistant, as well as a videography team, according to Hindu counsel Madan Mohan Yadav.

People attended Friday prayers amid tight security outside the mosque.

In its order on Thursday, the district court said locks should be broken if the keys are not available to access certain areas of the complex for the survey.

It also asked the district authorities to register FIRs if the survey was not allowed.

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