Hindu Temple Under Varanasi's Gyan Vapi Mosque? Court Orders Survey
A court in Varanasi has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to carry out a physical survey of the town's Gyanvapi Mosque, located next to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
The court ordered the survey while ruling on a three-decade old petition, which contended that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had demolished an ancient temple of "Lord Vishweshwar" and "constructed a mosque with the help of the ruins of the said temple".
In its order, the court asked the Director General of the ASI to "constitute a five-member committee of eminent persons who are experts and well-versed in the science of archaeology, two out of which should preferably belong to the minority community".
The court also asked the ASI Chief to appoint an eminent person -- a scholar or an established academician -- as an observer for the committee.
In its order, the court said, "The prime purpose of the Archaeological Survey shall be to find out whether the religious structure standing at present at the 'disputed site' is a superimposition, alteration or addition or there is a structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any other religious structure".