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Gyanvapi dispute | Both sides move court over video leak- Mrit News

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Plaintiffs return envelopes ‘without breaking the seal’; masjid panel yet to receive it

Plaintiffs return envelopes ‘without breaking the seal’; masjid panel yet to receive it

In the ongoing Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute, both the Hindu and Muslim parties on Tuesday approached the District Court in Varanasi seeking a probe into how the contents of the video survey of the mosque premises were leaked to the media and in the public domain.

This comes a day after District and Sessions judge A.K. Vishvesha accepted an undertaking from both sides that they will not copy or leak the contents of the survey upon receiving it from the court. Under these conditions, the court had on Monday handed over copies of the survey to the Hindu plaintiffs.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee is yet to receive a copy of the video survey, its lawyers said.

Ranjana Agnihotri, one of the lawyers for the Hindu plaintiffs in the dispute, said the sealed envelopes with discs of the video survey were handed over to the plaintiffs on Monday. “But before we could open it, we already started seeing on news channels that it had been leaked. So, on Tuesday we returned the envelopes to the court just as we received them — without breaking the seal.”

Blames anti-nationals

Following this, Jitendra Singh, plaintiff Rakhi Singh’s uncle, filed an application before the court, claiming that “anti-national elements” were behind the leak and thus sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter.

Senior advocate Mumtaz Ahmed, representing the masjid committee, said they too had filed an application seeking a thorough investigation of the leak, saying it was a blatant violation of the court’s orders.

Significantly, this is not the first time that the contents of the video survey have been leaked. Earlier, when a civil court in Varanasi had ordered the survey, parts of the video survey were leaked even before the survey report was submitted to the court. Based on these leaks, the Hindu side had claimed the discovery of a Shivling, while the Muslim side had said the structure in question was part of the fountain inside the mosque’s wuzu khana.

Moves apex court

After this first leak, the masjid committee had approached the Supreme Court, which had transferred the suit to a district court in Varanasi.

The district court is currently hearing a suit filed by five Hindu women, seeking the right to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the Gyanvapi mosque’s western wall all year-round.

Meanwhile, Nikhil Upadhyay, a law student, and son of BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has filed an application before the district court seeking to be arrayed as a plaintiff in the matter.

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