Agency New Delhi: The Supreme Court Saturday held that ASI findings on the excavation work done underneath the disputed Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya indicated an “underlying structure of Hindu religious origin dating to twelfth century AD”. The Archaeological Survey of India was entrusted the job of excavation by the Allahabad High Court on October 23, 2002 to carry out a scientific investigation at the disputed site. A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which in a historic verdict unanimously paved the way for construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site held that the layered excavation also revealed the existence of a circular shrine together with a ‘makara pranala’, indicative of Hindu worship dating back to the eighth to tenth century. “On a preponderance of probabilities, the archaeological findings on the nature of the underlying structure indicate it to be of Hindu religious origin, dating to twelfth century AD,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer. It said that ASI findings also reveal that the mosque in dispute was constructed upon the foundation of the pre-existing structure. “The construction of the mosque has taken place in such a manner as to obviate an independent foundation by utilising the walls of the pre-existing structure,” the top court held. It said that the final report of the ASI indicates that the finds in the area of excavation reveal significant traces of successive civilisations, commencing with the age of the ‘North Black Polished Ware’ traceable to the second century BC. “The excavation by the ASI has revealed the existence of a pre-existing underlying structure dating back to the twelfth century.
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