Lucknow, Jan 28: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has refuted claims that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which conducted a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi and submitted a survey report in the district court earlier, found evidence of a Hindu temple there.
In a statement, AIMPLB executive member Qasim Rasool Ilyas said the ASI report is not "conclusive evidence" in this controversial case.
"By doing this, the opposition party (Hindu side) has created a feeling of anarchy and insecurity in the society," he said, while also accusing the Hindu side of "insulting" the court by releasing the ASI report in the media.
"Hindu communal organisations are misleading the public for many years regarding the Gyanvapi Masjid. The latest example is the ASI report which they filed in court and made available to the plaintiff and defendant only on court orders," he said.
He alleged that the Hindu side tried its best to "create unrest" in the society months before when the survey team, in its report, had described the fountain present in the reservoir as a 'Shivling'.
The Muslim side's response came after the Hindu plaintiffs' lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain claimed, citing the ASI report, that there was evidence to prove that the Gyanvapi mosque had been built after demolishing a Hindu temple in the 17th century.
Meanwhile, an office bearer of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which manages Gyanvapi mosque, said he will not speak about the Archaeological Survey of India's survey report until he himself and his legal team have read it (the report) properly.
He, however, said that he is not satisfied with the report.
"Until, I and my team of lawyers read this report, I will not speak anything on this ASI report. After report is studied, then only we will speak on the report," AIMC joint secretary SM Yasin said.
Akhlaque Ahmad, one of the counsels representing AIMC, said: "We have started studying the survey report and have perused a few initial pages. The ASI survey report comprises 839 pages. It will take a few days to complete its study."
"So far, our legal team has not held any meeting regarding the matter. But we will hold a meeting soon. After going the report, we will make a comment on it with concrete facts as to why we are dissatisfied with it," Ahmad added.
On the other hand, Subhas Nandan Chaturvedi, one of the counsel representing four Hindu women plaintiffs, said: "The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)’s report on scientific survey of Gyanvapi is based on the concrete findings and facts. It is an authentic document. The report has made everything clear."
Standing government counsel Amit Kumar Srivastava, representing the ASI, said: "The ASI is a premier agency of the country. On the basis of the facts and figures (that) came to the fore during the survey, ASI prepared the report and filed a copy in court. The ASI's report on scientific survey of Gyanvapi is based on facts and figures."