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Home > News > The Ayodhya Issue > Report

Ayodhya diggers go down 13 feet, but find nothing

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 30, 2003 02:59 IST

A fortnight of excavation has taken the Archaeological Survey of India's diggers 13 feet deep in one of the10 trenches at thedisputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.

Workon five trenches has been speeded up over the past five days, butis proceeding atsnail's pacein the remaining five.

According to a witness, the diggers have gone down 8 feet and 11 feet in two trenches, and just about8 feet in two others.

But the excavationsinall these4x4 metre trenches have so faryielded nothingof anysubstance.

The workbegan on March 12on theorder of a special bench of the Allahabad high court to try and establishwhether a Hindu temple existed at the site before a general of the Mughal emperor Babur allegedlybuilt the Babri Masjidin the 16th century.

The Sangh Parivar and its supporters believe the site to be the birthplace ofLord Ram and that a temple erected there was pulled down by Babur'scommander.

The court had given the ASI a monthto complete the task. Butthat period is likely to be extended when the ASI moves a fresh application before the court at its next sitting on April 8. Earlier this week, a plea made in this regard was termedpremature by the court.

To speed up the work, the ASI has increased the number of labourers employedto 60.Following the court's directive, the ASI has also increased the number of Muslims in theteam of diggers, which was earlier dominated by Hindus.

According to a former ASI official with long experience in such excavations, nothing worthwhile is likely to be found until the diggers go deeper than the foundation of the Babri Masjid. And that is still a longway off.


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