The Allahabad High Court Friday set aside a lower court order and ordered a “scientific survey”, including carbon dating of what Hindu religious groups have claimed is a ‘Shivling’ inside the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

The Allahabad HC noted that ASI should conduct the carbon dating without damaging or causing any harm to the structure. Carbon dating is a method of calculating the age of very old objects by measuring the amounts of different forms of carbon in them.

The high court set aside an October 14 order of the Varanasi District Court that rejected a plea for scientific investigation, including carbon dating, of the structure.

Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra passed the order on a revision petition challenging the Varanasi court order.

The Hindu petitioners have claimed the object inside the Gyanvapi mosque to be a “Shivling”. The claim was disputed by the Muslim side, which said the object was part of a “fountain”.

The mosque authorities said it is part of a fountain in the ‘wazu khana’, where ablutions are performed before namaz.

The centuries-old mosque, is a target of Hindu nationalist groups after Babri Masjid which was demolished by Hindutva groups…

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