The Allahabad HC upheld the Varanasi Court order of July 21, allowing the ASI to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex | Image: PTI/File
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday (August 3) upheld the Varanasi Court order of July 21, allowing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, excluding the 'Wazukhana' area which has been sealed.
The ruling for the ASI survey evoked strong reactions from leaders of various political parties with UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya welcoming the decision. "I welcome this verdict. I am confident that the truth will come out after the ASI survey and the Gyanvapi issue will be resolved," he said.
UP Minister Dharmveer Prajapati asserted that everyone should respect the result of (ASI) survey. "We abide by the Constitution and judiciary. We all should follow the decision of the judiciary," he added. According to the Hindu side's lawyer, the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex would begin "without any delay", with sources adding that it could most likely begin at 7 am tomorrow.
The Place of Worship Act, of 1991, prohibits the conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship. "As of now, we will not comment on Allahabad HC order but what about The Place of Worship Act, 1991 and what the government is doing about it?" Congress leader Imran Pratapgarhi asked.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party MP Dr ST Hasan said, "We will abide by the orders of the court. Today our country needs communal harmony and national integration. No statement should be made which creates differences between people in the country."
The National Conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah also expressed his views on the Allahabad HC order by stating that whether it's a temple or a mosque, God is one. "You can either see Him (God) in a mandir or a mosque," he added.