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Survey does not support Singhal's
claims on Ayodhya Ram temple
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | February 26, 2003 03:22 IST
The deep penetration survey at the disputed site in Ayodhya refutes Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal's claim that the exercise has confirmed the existence of an ancient temple deep beneath the debris of the razed Babri masjid.
Carried out at the behest of the special bench of the Allahabad high court, the survey does throw light on the existence of some structure buried in the earth. But is believed to be spread across an area of about 3900 sq metres and not just the spot which the VHP claims as the birthplace of Ram.
There is, however, no estimation yet about the age of these remains.
"This information we have at present is not enough to conclude that the detected structure could be the remains of an ancient temple," pointed out a senior official entrusted with the task of closely monitoring all developments in Ayodhya.
Under the circumstances, Singhal's claims made at the VHP-sponsored dharam sansad (religious gathering) in Delhi are 'misleading', he said.
The VHP claims that an ancient temple did exist to mark Lord Ram's birthplace, but it was pulled down in the 16th century by Mughal emperor Babar to erect a mosque. This claim propelled a violent Hindu mob to demolish the mosque on December 6, 1992, provoking countrywide communal riots that left hundreds dead.
The report of the month-long survey carried out using sophisticated equipment installed by a Canadian company, Tojo India Vikas International (Pvt) Ltd, was recently submitted to the court as well as to the concerned parties.
Initially, the survey team used 300MHz and 500 MHz antennas, but thereafter employed high-powered 100 MHz antenna specially flown to Ayodhya to provide a clearer picture of the entire site.
Renowned expert Caude Robillard supervised the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey. Robillard is known to have done pioneering work in the field of GPR surveys, specially related to archaeology.
"The GPR survey reflects a general variety of anomalies ranging from 0.5 metres to 3.5 metres in depth that could be associated with ancient and contemporaneous structures such as pillars, foundation walls, slab flooring, extending over a large portion of the site. However, the exact nature of these anomalies have to be confirmed," the survey report says.
Referring to the Ram Chabootra area, that stood just outside the walls of the disputed Babri mosque, the report suggests that the structures buried beneath may have belonged to different periods of time.
"Similar indications of successive structures are shown in other areas of the site," it adds.
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