VARANASI: A court here asked the Gyanvapi mosque management on Friday to file its reply to a petitioners' plea for carbon-dating of a structure, claimed to be a "Shivling", inside the complex on the next date of hearing on October 11.
The petitioners contended that the "Shivling" found in the "wazookhana" reservoir of the mosque during survey work on May 16 was part of the case property.
The petitioners in the case involving the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri dispute put forward their arguments in favour of carbon-dating of the structure, according to district government advocate Mahendra Pandey.
The petitioners' lawyer, Vishnu Shankar Jain, told reporters that the court wanted to know if the "Shivling" was a part of the case property and whether it could appoint a commission for the purpose of carbon-dating and a scientific investigation of the structure.
"We had raised two points. Firstly we had demanded the right to worship 'pratyaksh' (visible) and 'apratyaksh' (invisible) god. The Shivling, which was under the water in the wazookhana, became 'pratyaksh devta' from 'apratyaksh devta' after the water was removed. Hence, that is a part of the suit.
"Secondly, we sought the attention of the court towards Order 26 Rule 10 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) under which the court can appoint a commission for scientific investigation," he said.
The petitioners also told the court that the mosque management has said on an affidavit that the structure is a fountain and it wants it to be ascertained whether it is a fountain or a "Shivling", Jain said.
"The best method is that it should be examined by the Archaeological Survey of India, for which the court can appoint a commission," he added.
The court fixed October 11 as the next date of hearing in the matter and asked the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee to file its reply.
Another lawyer representing the petitioners, Hari Shankar Jain, said some people are trying to spread rumours that carbon-dating will damage the "Shivling".
"On this, we told the court that a scientific examination should be carried out at places where carbon-dating cannot be done," he said.
Joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, Mohammad Yasin, said, "We were hopeful that the court would give its judgment on carbon-dating on Friday. But it has fixed October 11 as the next date of hearing."
The Gyanvapi mosque is located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the case in the Varanasi court has revived claims that the mosque was built on a portion of the Hindu structure demolished on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. PTI COR/NAV RC 10071754 NNNN...