22 Mar 2024

Madhya Pradesh: ASI begins survey of Bhojshala complex in Dhar

Dhar: Following a court order, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has commenced its survey of the Bhojshala complex, also known as Kamal Maula Mosque, located in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district.

In the morning, a team of about a dozen ASI members, accompanied by district administration officials and a heavy police presence, arrived at the tribal-dominated Dhar district to initiate the survey.

While the ASI team conducts searches at the site, the police are executing security measures.

Senior police officer Manoj Kumar Singh stated, "The survey at the Bhojshala has commenced. We have facilitated all logistical requirements for the ASI team. Security measures have been put in place, ensuring peace in the town."

Ashish Goel of Hindu Front for Justice, who filed the petition in May 2022, expressed, "The court's directives include utilizing the latest technology, including carbon dating, in the survey. A five-member ASI team is tasked to submit a report within six weeks."

On March 11, the Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered the ASI to conduct a 'scientific survey' of the Bhojshala complex within six weeks.

The Bhojshala complex, a medieval-era monument, is a subject of contention between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus regard it as a temple of Goddess Vagdevi (Saraswati), whereas Muslims refer to it as 'Kamal Maula Mosque.'

According to an ASI directive from April 7, 2003, Hindus are permitted to worship inside the complex on Tuesdays, while Muslims can offer namaz at the site every Friday.

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