Court reserves order on plea to hand over keys of basement at Gyanvapi complex to DM

A court here on Saturday completed the hearing on a petition seeking the handing over of keys to the basement at the Gyanvapi mosque complex to the Varanasi district magistrate and reserved its order for October 4.

Authorities had barricaded and locked the basement known as Vyas ji ka Tehkhana in 1993. Prior to it, the basement was used for worship by Somnath Vyas, a priest, according to petitioner Madan Mohan Yadav.

Yadav has pleaded that the key be handed over to the district magistrate, fearing that the contents of the basement could be tampered with.

District Judge AK Vishvesh on Friday posted the matter to Saturday for further hearing after accepting the Kashi Vishwanath Trust’s plea for more time to prepare its argument.

Yadav claimed that during the hearing, the advocate for the Kashi Vishwanath Trust said that they have no objection to the plea for handing over the keys of the basement to the district magistrate.

“The court has now reserved its order on the matter for October 4,” district government counsel Rajesh Mishra said.

The Archaeological Survey of India is carrying out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple here, to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a Hindu temple.

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