Ayodhya, March 16
After Hindus and Muslims making claims and counter-claims over the disputed land in Ayodhya, now Buddhists have jumped into the fray demanding that it must be handed over to them. “The controversial place in Ayodhya is neither the birth-place of Rama, the Hindu King, nor a mosque but originally it was a Baudh Vihar,” the Vishwa Budha Sangh has claimed, thereby giving a new twist to the Ayodhya dispute.
It has demanded that all Buddhist places in the country, especially Ayodhya, must be handed over to the Sangh. And to meet this objective, it has decided to file a suit in the Supreme Court. The Sangh has also called a conference of Buddhist Research Scholars, intellectuals and thinkers on April 27 to discuss the issue.
Sangh President Bhante Rahul termed Aryans as invaders from Central Asia who deceived, divided and defeated original inhabitants of India.
Quoting Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Discovery of India in support of his allegations, he said that Aryans destroyed the identity and culture of the original inhabitants of India.
He said Maurya King Ashoka had constructed 84,000 Buddhist Stupas and many thousand Viharas but none of them were found in their place today as Shankarayacharya, with the help of king Sudhanwa, destroyed them and converted them into Hindu temples.
This is mentioned in Buddhist scriptures and writings of Baudhacharya Taranath, he said.
Meanwhile, three concrete “chulahs” (stoves) of 1934 and a part of a road emerged during excavation at the disputed site opposite the make-shift temple here today even as the district administration directed the local contractor to engage Muslim labourers also for the task following the objection raised by the Waqf Board.
On the fourth day of the excavation today, 58 labourers under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India team led by Superintending Archaeologist B.R. Mani dug up to one feet and three inches in six 4 x 4 metre trenches in the presence of counsel and nominees of the contesting parties, sources said.
Three “chulahs” (stoves) of the erstwhile kitchen of the Ramanand Bairagi sect besides a road which led to the demolished structure emerged during the excavation being carried out on the orders of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to ascertain whether a temple existed beneath the demolished structure, they said.
Five experts from both sides were also present.
The floor of the structure which surfaced in the first four trenches and in the parts of the new trenches would be dug further only after obtaining necessary court orders, they said.
Meanwhile, the Public Works Department on the orders of the Divisional Commissioner today directed local contractor Krishan Kumar Pandey to engage at least five Muslim labourers for the exercise after the Sunni Central Waqf Board raised objections to the absence of Muslims among the labourers and demanded their recruitment in equal proportions to Hindus.
Interestingly, Mohammed Hashim Ansari, one of the original plantiffs in the title suit pending before the court, who had personally “boycotted” the excavation on the first day, was present at the site today. Giving him company was Mahant Bhaskar Das of Nirmohi Akhara who claimed ownership of the disputed site. PTI, UNI