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Ayodhya diggers reach depth of 5 feet
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 20, 2003 23:24 IST
Digging at the disputed site in Ayodhya has reached a depth of nearly 5 feet, it was officially learnt on Thursday.
The excavation, which began on March 12, was resumed on Thursday after two days off for Holi.
The task has been taken up under the direction of a special bench of the Allahabad high court at Lucknow, essentially to establish whether a Hindu temple once existed at the site where the Babri Masjid stood till December 6, 1992.
The excavating team found a copper coin and two terracotta pieces on Thursday. Similar terracotta pieces were recovered from one of the trenches on Monday.
According to an official, digging is in progress in seven of ten trenches, each measuring 4x4 metres in and around the disputed site.
Work on the other three trenches was suspended after the diggers encountered the floor of the Babri Masjid, barely four to six inches below the surface. Even though it was evident that the floor had remained buried under the debris of the mosque, the Archaeological Survey of India and local officials decided to seek a fresh direction from the court before piercing into it.
Significantly, most of the digging is being carried out close to the Ram Chabootra, which was believed to have sprung major revelations in the past. The chabootra (platform) was also pulled down in 1992.
While some artefacts were recovered from the site during excavations carried out in the late 1970s, some relics were recovered while levelling the area in June 1992. On both occasions, however, the work was undertaken some distance away from the main structure of the mosque.
"This is the first time excavations are being undertaken well within the outer courtyard of the razed mosque, where the Ram Chabootra stood from the time of Emperor Akbar, until the entire structure was pulled down in 1992," a senior official said.
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