Excavation continues at Ayodhya site
AYODHYA: Excavations to determine whether a Hindu shrine once existed on a bitterly disputed religious site in northern India continued for a second day on Thursday, witnesses said.
A 100-strong team of labourers supervised by archaeologists began work on Wednesday at the site in Ayodhya, after a court ordered that the site be dug up to check claims it contains the remains of a temple.
On Tuesday, an Indian court ordered that archaeologists conduct a fresh preliminary survey in the presence of representatives of all parties to the dispute before excavating the site. The work is now being carried out in the presence of 12 observers.
Witnesses said the team is digging four trenches, each measuring four metres by four metres.
Proceeding with caution, the team had dug 13 centimetres by the end of Wednesday, starting with hoes and later switching to shovels.
By Thursday, the team had dug down to the floor of the old courtyard of the destroyed mosque after removing the rubble. Progress is likely to be slow as the team is working as if engaged in an archaeological dig. Members are equipped with brushes to remove dust from any unusual findings. —AFP