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ASI starts digging floor of mosque
Sharat Pradhan in Ayodhya | March 13, 2003 18:10 IST
The Archaeological Survey of India team in Ayodhya started digging the floor of the Babri mosque on Thursday morning.
"Most of the work carried out on the opening day on Wednesday was focussed on removal of the debris of the razed mosque," a government official told rediff.com
Apart from the four spots [4X4 metres] marked for digging just across the makeshift temple, two sites were taken up on Thursday.
"The excavating team has now got spades, hoes and digging-forks, as against trowels and chisels, which had sufficed on Wednesday," the official said.
Archaeologists have told Hindu and Muslim representatives that the real work will begin once digging proceeds deeper than the floor level.
He denied reports that Muslims labourers have refused to work at the excavation site.
"Labourers have not been engaged on the basis of their religion and I have not come across a single case where any one refused to be associated with the excavation work. Rather, we removed three labourers because they were below 18 years," he added.
Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas counsel, Madan Mohan Pandey, who was at the site, said: "I have reason to believe that the mosque was built on the very foundation of the demolished temple, so they would perhaps not need to go very deep in search of evidence."
According to official reports, digging will remain suspended on Friday on account of Moharram, and on March 19 for Holi.
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