The caretakers of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi on Saturday urged the district court not to release survey videos and pictures in the public domain, reported Live Law.

In April this year, a trial court in Varanasi appointed commissioners to conduct a video survey of the mosque, which is located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Five Hindu women have claimed that an image of the Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the mosque and have sought permission to offer daily prayers there.

In May, a court-appointed surveyor reported that an oval object had been found inside the wazu khana, or ablution tank, in the mosque. Hindu petitioners claimed it is a Shivling, a symbolic representation of Hindu deity Shiva. Muslims, however, say that the object is actually a fountain.

On May 16, the trial court ordered that the wazu khana be sealed.

On May 20, the Supreme Court had asked the authorities to transfer the proceedings from the trial court to the court of the district judge in Varanasi. The mosque committee had moved the Supreme Court challenging the trial court’s order to carry out the survey and videograph the site.

On Saturday, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee in an application filed before District and Sessions Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha requested the court to only allow the parties involved in the case to get access to the survey videos and photographs, given the sensitivity of the case.

The committee noted that many persons, as well as news channels, have filed applications before the court to get a copy of the survey footage without being a party to the case, Live Law reported.

On May 26, the district court had asked all parties in the dispute to submit their objections to the survey commission’s report within seven days. It had also said that it will first hear the mosque committee’s plea under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by the Hindu plaintiffs.

The matter will be heard next on May 30.