New Delhi: On the seventh day of the Ayodhya hearing, the Hindu parties cited evidence based on an archaeological report to state there was a massive structure at the Babri Masjid site dating back to 2nd Century BC which was public in nature and that the structure would be a temple or 'mandap' with pillars.
A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is conducting the hearing on the vexed Ayodhya dispute.
Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, informed the court that the archaeological study was carried out at the disputed site where the Babri mosque was demolished by a mob in December 1992.
The archaeological report concluded that various structures were found in various layers during the excavation.
For example, a passage to drain excess water resulting from the 'abhishek' of the deity was found.
The senior counsel informed the court about the stratigraphy methodology deployed by the archaeologists to identify the remains from the previous civilization which indicate a massive structure of public status existed which could be used by a large number of people especially for worship. This was absolutely different from a structure meant for private use.
"Besides the pottery, broken figure in terracotta, round vessel with legion... The oldest northwest black polish level (had) Ashokan Brahmi script," argued the counsel, establishing that there have been structures from 2nd and 3rd BC that point to religious structures at the disputed place.
Vaidyanathan also informed the bench that the imagery, sculptures within the structure (Babri Masjid) established it was not a mosque as such expression of imagery was not usually seen in mosques.
Merely because Muslims prayed there does not give them ownership over it, he contended.
Vaidynathan also referred to sculptures on the structural pillars, which he said had images of Garuda flanked by lions. He contended that such imagery was completely contrast to Islamic practices as they have no images of any human or animal in a mosque.