A Hindu petitioner has moved a trial court in Varanasi, seeking directions to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey of remaining cellars in the Gyanvapi complex.
The petitioner argues that surveying these cellars is crucial to ascertain the religious character of the precinct.
The application filed before a district court in Varanasi outlines several key points. Firstly, it requests the ASI to undertake surveys of the remaining cellars whose entrances are blocked. Additionally, it urges the ASI to conduct surveys of cellars that were not investigated during the recent survey of the Gyanvapi precincts. The plea emphasises that any survey conducted should avoid causing damage to the structure.
The plaintiff highlights that some cellars remain unsurveyed due to blocked entrances, although these blockages consist of bricks and stones, and the structure's load does not rest on these blocked areas. They assert that ASI experts possess the necessary skills to safely remove these obstructions without harming the structure. Moreover, the plea suggests obtaining a report from the ASI regarding the removal of blocked entrances to ensure the preservation and protection of the structure.
Religious rituals were performed on the Gyanvapi premises on Thursday, at midnight, following a Varanasi court's ruling allowing a priest to perform midnight prayers at the complex.
In its ruling, the court had said the prayers would be conducted by a "pujari" nominated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust and the petitioner who had claimed his grandfather offered puja at the cellar up to December 1993.
The order was delivered on the plea of Shailendra Kumar Pathak who claimed that his maternal grandfather, priest Somnath Vyas, offered prayers till December 1993.