The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) asserted on Saturday that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey report has “reconfirmed” that the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi was built by demolishing a “magnificent temple” at the site. The VHP demanded that the structure be declared a Hindu temple and handed over to the community.
Alok Kumar, the VHP’s working president, stated, “The evidence collected and the conclusions provided by the ASI do prove that the religious character of this place of worship existed on the 15th day of August, 1947, and as at present is of a Hindu Temple.”
Kumar also invoked Section 4 of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, urging that, as per this section, the structure should be declared a Hindu temple. The VHP further called for Hindus to be allowed to offer “sewa puja” to the ‘Shivlinga’ in the “so-called Wazukhana area” at the disputed site.
The organization urged the Intezamia Committee, which manages the mosque, to agree to “respectfully shift” the Gyanvapi mosque to another suitable place and hand over the original site of Kashi Vishvanatha to the Hindu society. Kumar expressed the belief that this action would contribute to building amicable relations between the two prominent communities.
The VHP’s demands followed the public release of the ASI survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex, where the lawyer representing Hindu litigants claimed that the mosque was constructed after demolishing a pre-existing temple.
Kumar said, “Hand over the Gyanvapi structure to Hindus,” citing the ASI’s evidence that allegedly confirms the mosque was built after demolishing a temple. He claimed that parts of the pre-existing temple, including pillars and pilasters, were reused in the construction of the mosque, and the discovery of names like Janardana, Rudra, and Umeswara in inscriptions indicated the structure’s temple origin.