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Excavation at Bhojshala complex in MP continues as survey enters ninth day

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Dhar, Mar 30 (PTI) Excavation process is currently going on at the Bhojshala/Kamal Maula mosque complex in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh as part of its court-mandated survey being conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

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Soil and stones collected during the digging process are being preserved by the ASI, a person associated with the survey said on Saturday.

This is the ninth day of the survey that began on March 22.

Ashish Goyal, who represents the Hindus and who is accompanying the ASI team during this process, told PTI that the survey is being conducted without any break using new scientific methods, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Global Positioning System (GPS), carbon dating in addition to excavation at the site.

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Videography and photography are also being carried out on the premises, he said.

"It is an eternal truth that Bhojshala was built by Raja Bhoj. The inscriptions, pillars and each piece of Bhojshala reveal that this is a Hindu structure," Goyal said.

He expressed hope that the idol of Maa Vagdevi (Saraswati) will be placed in Bhojshala soon after being brought from London.

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"In the survey conducted till yesterday (Friday), three places located on outer parts of Bhojshala were dug up and the process is continuing. Various materials like soil and stones collected during the digging are being preserved by the ASI," he said.

The court has directed the ASI to conduct the survey on a petition from Hindu Front of Justice on an area of 50 metres. On Friday, the survey was conducted till 12 noon as it was the day when Muslims are allowed to offer prayers in the structure.

Both Hindus and Muslims are staking claim to the complex. Hindus consider Bhojshala to be a temple dedicated to Vagdevi (Goddess Saraswati), while the Muslim community call it Kamal Maula Mosque. As per an ASI order of April 7, 2003, Hindus are allowed to worship inside the Bhojshala complex every Tuesday, while Muslims are allowed to offer namaz at the site on Fridays.

The High Court's Indore bench had directed the ASI to carry out a scientific survey of the medieval-era Bhojshala complex in Dhar district on March 11. The HC has given six weeks' time to the ASI for the survey and directed it to get back to it with an up-to-date report.

It is believed that Raja Bhoj, a Hindu king, had installed the statue of Vagdevi in Bhojshala in 1034 AD. Hindu groups say the British took this statue to London in 1875. PTI ADU COR MVG NP

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