There has been a 'Peepli Live' moment in Daudiakala village as host of media personnel along with their OV vans have thronged the site to update their audience with even the minutest of the happenings of this bizarre exercise. Moreover, thousands of curious onlookers and even a mini market have sprung to see if Sadhu Shobhan Sarkar's predictions will come true about 1000 tonne of gold.

The excavation work was being carried out amid tight security at the fort of former king Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh by a 12-member team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) led by its Deputy Director PK Mishra. The Deputy Director told reporters that ASI began the excavation work on the basis of the findings of a report by GSI. To a query whether the decision for excavation was taken on the basis of the seer's dream, he said, "actually a report by the GSI suggested that there may be gold or silver there. On the basis of findings of the report we have started the excavation and results will come soon."
    
The gold rush was triggered after a seer Shoban Sarkar claimed that the Raja had appeared to him in a dream and told him that 1,000 tonne of gold lay buried in its ruins.
    
The Raja, who was hanged in 1858 after rising up against the Britishers, appeared in the dream of the seer and told him to take care of the gold treasure buried in the remains of the late king's fort, said Swami Omji, a follower of Sarkar.
As huge crowds gathered around the fort, the district administration clamped prohibitory orders in Unnao to prevent any untoward incident. Barricades were also erected.
    
District Magistrate Vijay Kiran Anand said the excavation work would take at least a month to complete.
 
Sarkar earlier performed "boomi pujan" and marked the points to be excavated by the ASI team. After this ritual, Anand formally kickstarted the digging work.



WHAT EXPERTS SAY?

Preliminary findings, officials say, suggest presence of "some metal underneath the earth", following which ASI teams decided to proceed with the excavation. Experts, however, are not too sure about the possibility of gold buried underneath.

While many do not rule out discovery of some gold, they say it is not possible for 1,000 tonne of gold being under the fort as the king was a ruler who presided over a zamindari stretching not more than 25-30 km.

"He was not a big king and hence it looks unlikely that such huge gold reserves are there," opines DP Tiwari, former head of the history and archaeology department at the Lucknow University.

For the villagers, however, Sarkar's words are sacrosanct and final. Mahendra Pratap Singh, a descendant of the Unnao ruler says people firmly believe that if the seer has said it, the gold has to be there.

People have also demanded that in case the gold is found, 20 percent of it be spent on development of the area.
    
REACTIONS

But the excavation exercise on the basis of a dream was mocked at with Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi leading the charge. "The whole world is laughing at us over this bizarre exercise.

Somebody dreamt and the government has launched an excavation...The money hidden by thieves and looters of India in foreign banks are much more than 1000 tonne of gold. If you (government) bring back that money, you won't have to do digging for gold (in Unnao),"Modi said at a rally in Chennai.
    
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury called it strange and said it is not right to dig up some place to find hidden treasure on the basis of someone's dream. "What is going on is something we have never heard of before," he said.
    
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had a funny take on the excavation work, saying that he wants every district in the state to yield a treasure and people to be happy.

JPN/Agencies

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Treasure hunt: ASI’s bizarre exercise continues, no concrete results so far

 

Unnao (UP): In what appears to be a bizarre exercise, the archaeologists on Friday began digging for a treasure of 1,000 tonne of gold supposed to be buried under the ruins of a 19th century fort on the basis of a seer's dream. No concrete findings have come out of the first day of digging, said the officials. 

 

There has been a 'Peepli Live' moment in Daudiakala village as host of media personnel along with their OV vans have thronged the site to update their audience with even the minutest of the happenings of this bizarre exercise. Moreover, thousands of curious onlookers and even a mini market have sprung to see if Sadhu Shobhan Sarkar's predictions will come true about 1000 tonne of gold.

 

The excavation work was being carried out amid tight security at the fort of former king Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh by a 12-member team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) led by its Deputy Director PK Mishra. The Deputy Director told reporters that ASI began the excavation work on the basis of the findings of a report by GSI. To a query whether the decision for excavation was taken on the basis of the seer's dream, he said, "actually a report by the GSI suggested that there may be gold or silver there. On the basis of findings of the report we have started the excavation and results will come soon."

    

The gold rush was triggered after a seer Shoban Sarkar claimed that the Raja had appeared to him in a dream and told him that 1,000 tonne of gold lay buried in its ruins.

    

The Raja, who was hanged in 1858 after rising up against the Britishers, appeared in the dream of the seer and told him to take care of the gold treasure buried in the remains of the late king's fort, said Swami Omji, a follower of Sarkar.

As huge crowds gathered around the fort, the district administration clamped prohibitory orders in Unnao to prevent any untoward incident. Barricades were also erected.

    

District Magistrate Vijay Kiran Anand said the excavation work would take at least a month to complete.

 

Sarkar earlier performed "boomi pujan" and marked the points to be excavated by the ASI team. After this ritual, Anand formally kick started the digging work.

 

What Experts Say?

Preliminary findings, officials say, suggest presence of "some metal underneath the earth", following which ASI teams decided to proceed with the excavation. Experts, however, are not too sure about the possibility of gold buried underneath.

While many do not rule out discovery of some gold, they say it is not possible for 1,000 tonne of gold being under the fort as the king was a ruler who presided over a zamindari stretching not more than 25-30 km.

"He was not a big king and hence it looks unlikely that such huge gold reserves are there," opines DP Tiwari, former head of the history and archaeology department at the Lucknow University.

For the villagers, however, Sarkar's words are sacrosanct and final. Mahendra Pratap Singh, a descendant of the Unnao ruler says people firmly believe that if the seer has said it, the gold has to be there.

People have also demanded that in case the gold is found, 20 percent of it be spent on development of the area.

    

REACTIONS

 

But the excavation exercise on the basis of a dream was mocked at with Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi leading the charge.

    

"The whole world is laughing at us over this bizarre exercise.

Somebody dreamt and the government has launched an excavation...The money hidden by thieves and looters of India in foreign banks are much more than 1000 tonne of gold. If you (government) bring back that money, you won't have to do digging for gold (in Unnao),"Modi said at a rally in Chennai.

    

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury called it strange and said it is not right to dig up some place to find hidden treasure on the basis of someone's dream. "What is going on is something we have never heard of before," he said.

    

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had a funny take on the excavation work, saying that he wants every district in the state to yield a treasure and people to be happy.