Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar who allowed videographic survey of the disputed structure ‘Gyanvapi Masjid’ days after the same was halted amid opposition, expressed safety concerns on Friday. He said that an atmosphere of fear is being created and that he is worried about his family’s safety. The judge added that this case is considered an extraordinary case now and not a civil case. “The fear is so much that my family is always concerned about my safety and I am concerned about their safety”, he said.
“Yesterday, my mother (in Lucknow) during our conversation also expressed concerns about my safety, and from the news received by the media, she came to know that maybe I am also going to the spot as commissioner and my mother asked me that I should not go on commission on the spot, as it may endanger my safety,” the judge was quoted on May 12.
The court on Thursday rejected the plea to change the court-appointed advocate commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra for conducting a video survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex and also ordered the completion of the survey task by May 17.
Earlier on May 6, the committee of Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi had said that it won’t allow videography inside the mosque, as ordered by a court. S M Yasin, joint secretary of Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid Managing Committee, had stated that no ‘non-believer’ would be allowed to enter the mosque. “The survey and videography should be restricted to the Kashi Vishwanath temple premises”, he had said.
Reportedly, the Muslim mob had blocked the gate and prevented the survey team from entering the premises on May 6. They protested against the court order that stopped the court-directed documentation for the day in Varanasi. The videographer, however, who accompanied the survey team involved in the process revealed the presence of Hindu motifs including the Swastika, Nandi (bull associated with Shiva) and lotus motifs all over the outer side of the mosque walls.
“We saw Swastik symbols at two places on the walls of the temple. There are a number of lotus symbols all over. We also saw Nandi while doing a Parikrama and other Hindu religious symbols”, he noted. The court on May 12 was hearing a plea demanding darshan puja and security at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and other idols including Shringar Gauri at Gyanvapi Mosque complex and ordered the completion of the video survey. Judges Diwakar issued guidelines for the same and ordered the report to be submitted by May 17.