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Archaeologist too believes Ram temple existed at Ayodhya

NT Bureau
Chennai, Mar 7:

        The VHPs assertion through scientific data that a Ram temple existed at the disputed site in Aydodhya now has the backing of archaeologists who dug up the place in the 1980s.

        According to an agency story, one of the architects who conducted extensive digging on a half-acre area barely a metre off the site has said the excavations will establish without doubt the existence of an ancient temple.

        The observation of the archaeologist is significant as the Allahabad High Court has ordered excavations at the disputed site.

        The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is already preparing its team to begin excavations within a week at the site to ascertain the antiquity of structures detected in radar tests in January.

        But even before that archaeologists are saying that a temple existed there.

        The structures we found dated back 3,000 years to 900 B.C., S.P. Gupta, who was among the dozen archaeologists who excavated the site from 1975 to 1980 has been quoted as saying by a news agency.

        Gupta described pillars, floors, brick walls and even statuettes uncovered by his team. We covered them up with earth after our studies were complete, he has said.

        If these findings were barely a metre away from the actual spot of dispute, then it is obvious that the temple would have covered the disputed site too.

        Another expedition was conducted in 1992 just before the demolition of the Babri structure.

        According to Gupta, 68 idols had been uncovered in that bout of digging and there were certain indications of a sprawling temple complex that existed before the Babri mosque.

        The demolition put a lid on the controversial excavations, and the dispute shifted to the political arena until the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Tuesday ordered the ASI to excavate the site and submit a report within a month.

        Admitting that it would be one of their most sensitive assignments till date, ASI officials said their digging would take off where Delhi-based ground mapping company Tojo Vikas International left off.

        An official of the company said their ground penetrating radar technique to map underground utilities had definitely sensed remains of a structure underneath.

        Canadian expert Claude Robillard led the team that used radars to study the site. In this method, an antenna transmits electro-magnetic waves, which penetrate the layers of underground structures and are deflected.

        The time taken by the waves to travel can tell the size and shape of structures without any actual digging involved.

        The ASI commissioned the radar studies, conducted at the site excluding the spot where Hindus worship the idol of infant Ram, at the instance of the Allahabad High Court.

        According to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders such as Ashok Singhal, the very finding of a structure indicates that the Babri mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient temple.







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