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High tension, higher stakes: What Varanasi residents think of Gyanvapi mosque 'video survey'

By Tanishka Sodhi

On May 12, a Varanasi court ordered the resumption of the video survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, located next to the Kashi Viswanath temple.

The inspection had originally been granted by the court last month, after five Hindu women moved a petition asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine located behind the mosque’s western wall. However, this was halted after the mosque’s managing committee accused the court-appointed advocate commissioner of being “biased”.

The committee also objected to videography being conducted within the mosque. A lawyer representing the committee told Newslaundry their objections stemmed from the fact that it was a “sensitive” issue that could lead to security problems.

The committee has now moved a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the Varanasi order, but the apex court said it would list the matter only after going through the relevant paperwork.

The night before the Varanasi court’s order was passed, Newslaundry met with local residents and shopkeepers in Varanasi to ask them what they thought about the issue. Watch.

Newslaundry is a reader-supported, ad-free, independent news outlet based out of New Delhi. Support their journalism, here.

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