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Wrap up Gyanvapi survey by May 17, orders Varanasi court

Varanasi: A Varanasi court on Thursday fixed May 17 as the deadline to wrap up the Gyanvapi mosque survey while rejecting the Anjuman Itezamia Masjid Committee's plea to replace the advocate commissioner appointed to oversee the exercise at the disputed site.
The court of the Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar had ordered the survey in response to a petition filed by five women seeking the right to unhindered daily worship of the Shringar Gauri deity on the outer wall of the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi mosque complex.
Asking Ajay Kumar Mishra to continue as advocate commissioner, the court-appointed two additional advocates to assist him- Vishal Singh as special advocate commissioner and Ajay Pratap Singh as assistant advocate commissioner- and directed the district administration to ensure the survey wasn't delayed further for any reason. Anyone who tries to stall the survey should be dealt with sternly, the court said.
The survey, including videography of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, started on May 6 in the presence of both parties. The exercise stalled a day later amid a protest by the masjid committee, one of the respondents in the case. The committee simultaneously advocates commissioner Mishra for working under pressure from the plaintiffs and requesting that he be replaced.
The plaintiffs and the respondents- the UP government, the district magistrate, and the police commissioner- dismissed the allegation leveled against the advocate commission as baseless.
The court noted that the plaintiffs had filed a 41-page petition with details that could be understood by a layperson. "The plaintiffs have clearly requested that the survey be done according to the details given in the petition. It is beyond the comprehension of the court why the district administration failed to understand such clear language," it said.
"The district magistrate and the commissioner of police are ordered that it will be their personal responsibility to get the commission proceedings completed. The DGP and the chief secretary are directed to supervise so that the administrative officers of the district do not make any excuse to postpone the commission proceedings."
I and my family living in fear: Advocate commissioner
The court-appointed advocate commissioner in the Shringar Gauri case, Ajay Kumar Mishra, on Thursday said he and his family feared for their safety in the face of attempts to get him replaced. "An atmosphere of fear has been created in an ordinary civil case," he told the court of civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, who was hearing a petition filed by the Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid Committee against Miahra's continuance as the advocate commissioner overseeing the Gyanvapi mosque survey.

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