On the last day of the survey of the internal complex of Gyanvapi Mosque, a 12-feet long and 8 inches in diameter Shiv linga has been found inside a well situated within the complex, as per lawyer Vishnu Jain. On Saturday, the survey team found lotus and swastika painted on the walls of the basement within the mosque.
The survey and videography were ordered by the Civil Judge’s court of Varanasi. It was done on the behest of a petition filed by five women who wanted to resume worship at the site which was believed to be a temple before it was demolished and a mosque was built over it.
The court has ordered the area, where Shiv linga was found, to be sealed and prohibited entry. It has directed the District Magistrate, Police Commissioner and CRPF Commandment, Varanasi, to ensure that the area is protected. In its order, it has stated that protection of the Shiv linga is the personal responsibility of the authorities concerned.
The survey inside the complex was conducted amidst heavy security deployment. On 7 May 2022, the survey team led by the court commissioner was not allowed to enter the mosque complex to conduct a survey and videography by a group of Muslim men.
For centuries, Hindus claimed that the mosque was built over a temple. The statue of Nandi bull inside the Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex faces the wall of the mosque, instead of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Parts of the ancient temple are clearly visible on the outer walls of the mosque to this day.
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