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Gyanvapi case: SC extends protection of 'Shivling' area till further orders

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New Delhi, Nov 11: The Supreme Court on Friday extended the protection of an area in the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex, where a "Shivling" was stated to have been found during the survey. The protection is extended till further orders of the court.

"Supreme Court has extended the sealing order for the 'Shivling' area at Gyanvapi mosque complex till further order. The court has given us three weeks time to respond to a petition from the Muslim side," said Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain.

Gyanvapi case: SC extends protection of Shivling area till further orders

Jain, representing some of the Hindu women who filed a suit before the Varanasi civil court seeking permission to worship at the Gyanvapi mosque.

On May 17, the Supreme had passed an interim order directing the district magistrate of Varanasi to ensure protection of the area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where a 'Shivling' was said to be found in the survey.

The apex court had also allowed Muslims to offer namaz in the Gyanvapi mosque.

On November 8, fast track court at Varanasi postponed till November 14 its judgement on a separate plea seeking permission to allow worship of the 'Shivling' claimed to have been found in the mosque complex.

On April 26, a lower court (civil judge-senior division) that was earlier hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily worship of idols of Hindu deities on the mosque's outer walls had ordered a videographic survey of the Gyanvapi complex and the Hindu side had claimed the Shivling' was found during the exercise.

However, the Muslim side has maintained that the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the 'wazookhana' reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.

The Supreme Court had transferred the case from the civil judge (senior division) to the district judge on May 20, saying looking at the "complexities" and "sensitivity" of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer with an experience of over 25-30 years handles the case.

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