Government officials have played down reports that the Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) excavation work at Daundia Khera village of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh on Friday for finding hidden treasure was based on a dream by a seer.
Several sections of the media claimed that the ASI began excavation work after seer Shobhan Sarkar dreamt that 1,000 tonnes of gold is buried under the ruined fort of King Raja Rao Ram Bux. It was even reported that the seer wrote to Fatehpur District Magistrate Abhay Kumar on the same.
However, government officials have now rubbished these reports .
"We have started excavation yesterday. Our Lucknow circle of ASI is doing the excavation on archaeological principles and it is continuing there. It has nothing to do with the dream of any sadhu or particular person," Additional Director General BR Mani told CNN IBN.
"The government has never claimed that 1,000 tonnes of gold will be found. We as archaeologists expect to find new things and civilizations. We connect the new findings to old ones and compare them. Our work is nothing but research," added Dr Sayed Jamal Hasan, Director Exploration, ASI.
The Ministry of Culture has also clarified in a statement that the ASI began the excavation work at the 19th century fort after a report by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) mentioned "this prominent non-magnetic anomalous zone occurring at 5-20 m depth indicative of possible non conducting, metallic contents or some alloys."
"On the basis of GSI report it was decided by ASI to undertake excavations at the site to try to unearth and determine the nature of the reported deposits. It is also noteworthy to mention that this is reported to be an ancient settlement site which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location. The SA (Lucknow Circle) was conveyed permission on 10th October, 2013 to undertake the trial exploration/excavations by deputing a full team from his office," read a statement from the ministry.
The excavation work, which commenced on 18 October, is estimated to take a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks to reach the reported level of deposits, added the statement.
It is reported that the ASI took up the excavation work after a king told seer Shobhan Sarkar in his dream that 1,000 tonnes of gold has been hidden beneath the fort of King Raja Rao Ram Bux in Unnao. Union Minister of State for Food Processing Charan Das Mahant had reportedly met the seer on learning about his dream.