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High Court orders excavations in Ayodhya
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 05, 2003 21:41 IST
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court on Wednesday asked the Archaeological Survey of India to undertake excavations at the disputed site in Ayodhya to ascertain whether a temple existed at the place where Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished by Hindu zealots on December 6, 1992.
The ASI has been asked to keep a distance of at least 10-feet from the makeshift temple that was erected immediately after the demolition of the 16th century Babri mosque.
The court order for excavation was opposed by the counsel for the Ramjanmbhoomi Trust on the ground that it infringed the Supreme Court order for maintenance of status quo at the disputed site.
The bench, however, pointed out that the apex court's order for status quo was addressed to the rival parties [in the dispute], "not to this court."
The court has earmarked a 100 ft X 100 ft area where the excavations would be carried out.
Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor, Zafaryab Jilani, welcomed the court order.