Owaisi urged the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to challenge the move in the Allahabad High Court.

Owaisi questions legality of ASI survey for Vishwanath temple-Gyanwapi mosque disputeRepresentational image/PTI
news Controversy Friday, April 09, 2021 - 13:19

Hyderabad Member of Parliament (MP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday expressed his reservations over a Varanasi court directing an archaeological survey into the dispute over the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Gyanwapi mosque land. A civil court on Thursday had ordered the survey by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) based on a plea made by an advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi, who had claimed that the Gyanwapi Mosque in Varanasi was a part of the temple.

Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said that the order is “legally unsound”, citing the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya dispute verdict. He urged the All India Muslim Personal Board to challenge the order in the Allahabad High Court to seek remedy.

“The legality of this order is doubtful. In Babri judgement, SC said ‘A finding of title cannot be based in law on the archaeological findings which have been arrived at by ASI…’ ASI has acted as a midwife to all kinds of Hindutva lies, no one expects objectivity from it,” he tweeted.

Owaisi went on to cast aspersions over the objectivity of the Archaeological Survey of India. He tweeted, “AIMPLB_Official and Masjid Committee must IMMEDIATELY appeal before this order & get this rectified. ASI is only likely to perpetrate a fraud & history will be repeated as was done in the case of Babri. No person has any right whatsoever to change nature of a masjid (sic).”

Earlier on Thursday only, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board in Lucknow said they will challenge the trial court's order in the Allahabad High Court. 

Owaisi on Friday went to suggest that this litigation was part of a larger scheme. In the same Twitter thread, he said, “It is clear that the people who committed the ‘egregious criminal act’ of demolishing Babri Masjid have been emboldened & will not stop at anything to take India back to violence of 1980s-90s & constant bickering over fictitious ‘history’ (sic).”

 He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in and ensure that the places of worship such as this mosque is protected. He also questioned those who had asked those patronising the Muslim community and urged them to get closure at the time of the Ayodhya verdict.

“| @PMOIndia is required by law to enforce Places of Worship Act 1991 which prohibits conversion of religious place. He must find courage to intervene. Many were patronising us with talk about "closure" when we expressed our disappointment about Babri. Where are you all now? (sic)” he asked.

He concluded his Twitter thead citing an article which detailed alleged lapses and irregularities made by the ASI as part of the Ayodhya land dispute.

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