A Varanasi court on Wednesday barred media from covering the ongoing ASI survey of the Gyanvapi complex from the spot and also directed members of the survey team to not give comments to any media outlet.
The court of District Judge A K Vishvesh passed the order on a plea by the Gyanvapi management committee seeking a ban on the media coverage of the survey which is being conducted to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a temple.
Madan Mohan Yadav, the Hindu side’s lawyer who was present in the court during the hearing, told PTI, ”The court has ordered the media to not report the event from the spot. The members of survey team should also not give comments in the media. The court further advised that such reports on the issue that could lead to breach of peace should not be put on social media.” In July, a Varanasi court had directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple here. The order was upheld by the Allahabad Hight Court.
The survey of the mosque complex began on August 4 following court orders.
Syed Mohammad Yasin, joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid that manages the mosque, said the ASI survey is being done on the orders of the court. No statement has been given so far by the survey team or any of its officials, but newspapers and news channels and on social media misleading news is being run continuously, he claimed. Yasin said that this will have a ”wrong effect” on the people’s mind and such news items should be stopped from being published.
”We gave an application in the court of District Judge A K Vishvesh on Tuesday, which is expected to be heard on Wednesday,” he said earlier in the day.
Amid the ongoing survey at the mosque complex, Yasin had on Sunday said baseless things were being spread, and if they were not stopped, then the Muslim side could boycott the survey. Yasin had alleged that during the survey on Saturday, a section of the media spread rumours that idols, tridents and urns were found in the basement of the mosque, hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)