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Gyanvapi mosque case: Varanasi court defers hearing on 'Shivling' carbon dating to Oct 11

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VARANASI: The district court in Varanasi on Friday deferred the hearing in the Gyanvapi case and scheduled it for October 11.

The court was supposed to pronounce its verdict on the plea filed by the Hindu side demanding carbon dating of the structure they claimed to be a 'Shivling' found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque's wuzu khana.

A heavy police force was deployed outside the premises of the court ahead of the crucial hearing.

The court had reserved the order in the Gyanvapi Mosque-Shringar Gauri case on September 29 after hearing both sides' arguments.

Four women petitioners in the Gyanvapi mosque-Shrinagar Gauri case had sought scientific investigation and carbon dating to ascertain the nature and age of the Shivling.

The Hindu side had claimed that they had found a shivling in the ablution pond or 'wazukhana' of the mosque during the videography survey of the mosque premises, which was ordered by the court.

However, the Muslim side said that the structure found was a 'fountain'.

The Hindu side had then submitted an application on September 22 that sought carbon dating of the object. Carbon dating is a scientific process that ascertains the age of an archaeological object or archaeological finds.

This was opposed not only by the Muslim side's Anjuman Inazaniya Masajid Committee, but also by plaintiff number one, Rakhi Singh of the Hindu side.

The lawyers had lodged an objection in court saying that carbon dating would damage the structure.

Earlier, on July 19, an appeal had been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court which had dismissed a PIL that sought the appointment of a committee/commission under a judge to study the nature of the structure found in the Gyanvapi Mosque, Varanasi.

The appeal filed by seven devotees sought direction from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to ascertain the nature of the structure found on the Gyanvapi campus.

On May 20, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the case related to worship at Gyanvapi mosque from the civil judge to the District Judge, Varanasi.

Earlier on September 12, the Varanasi court had dismissed a plea of Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women seeking worshipping rights in the Gyanvapi mosque compound.

(With inputs from IANS and ANI) (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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