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Structure below demolished Masjid: Canadian expert
Ajit Jain in Toronto | March 19, 2003 09:57 IST
"All I know is there is some structure under the mosque," Montreal-based Claude Robillard told this reporter in an exclusive interview.
According to archaeological interpretation, "there are some anomalies found underneath the site relating to some archaeological features. Anomalies are things, images that don't necessarily correspond to the archaeological surroundings," he said.
When asked what could be the contributory factors to creating those anomalies, Robillard said, "You might associate them with pillars, or floors, or concrete floors, wall foundation or something."
"These anomalies could be associated with archaeological features but until we dig, I can't say for sure what the construction is under the mosque," he explained in a 30-minute interview.
Robillard, an acclaimed geophysicist who studied at McGill University in Montreal, is an expert on 'changes in soil structures' and is associated with a number of companies working in mine explorations and several other areas.
Last December he was in Beijing on mining exploration work when he was contacted by the New Delhi-based Tojo Vikas International to survey the Ayodhya site on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Robillard said he reached New Delhi January 2 and with the team of experts from Tojo, including Rajeev Rishi, Narasimhan Mahayana and others, surveyed the site with the help of ground penetrating radars, electro-magnetic waves etc. On that basis, Robillard mapped the whole site, pinpointing on the chart areas where he found anomalies.
He found the anomalies with the help of deep penetrating radars from 1 to 5 meters. "What we have done is to indicate on the map where the digging should be done. Without that we can dig anywhere and not find anything. It is easier once these anomalies are indicated on the map. That's the purpose of attaching a map with the report," Robillard explained.
"Without pointing those areas with anomalies, digging could be very difficult. You are not going to go on digging a 4,000 sq ft site."
When asked whether on the face of it he would say there have been some changes in the pillars or if there were new pillars, soil structures, etc from the original construction, Robillard said he was merely talking about "anomalies in the soil properties. These changes in soil properties could correspond to, or could be caused by, the presence of a pillar or some more foundations that could be different from the surrounding soil."
"We do what is called geological interpretation. What we have done is put everything on the map. You could join some of the anomalies together and form what we call a strand," Robillard said.
After spending eight days at Ayodhya, Robillard said he returned to China as his work there was still in progress. From there he again returned to India February 3, went immediately to Ayodhya and spent another seven days there. He then wrote a report (with maps) and submitted it to the Archaeological Survey of India who had contracted the survey work to Tojo International.
The ASI has been advised to start digging to find out what images were emitted by radars from under the mosque, Robillard said.
How significant are his findings? "What I see as anomalies could be new construction, but I can't say. It could be just housing, temple or any other type of construction below the mosque. We have to dig to find that out," he said.
"All I can say is there seems to be some structures below the mosque but what those structures are I can't say. There's a suspicion there were structures but until digging is done, I can't be specific. I can come to definitive conclusions [only] after deep digging."
This report was first published in India Abroad, the newspaper owned by rediff.com
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