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SLP claims site in Ayodhya belongs to Buddhists

New Delhi: A Special Leave Petition has been filed in the Supreme Court claiming that a Buddhist monastery (Baudh Vihar) existed at the site of Babri mosque and hence the disputed land at Ayodhya should be handed over to followers of the faith.

The SLP was filed by Udit Raj, the Chairman of Buddha Education Foundation and All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations yesterday against the judgement of Allahabad High Court`s Lucknow bench in the Ayodhya title suits.

Giving the information at a press conference on Friday, Raj told reporters, "The Budhists in India challenge the legality and constitutionality of the judgement. Not only the disputed land but even the construction before the existence of Babri mosque belong to Baudh Vihar."

Former Union Minister and Bhartiya Janshakti Party leader Sanghpriya Gautam, who accompanied Raj, quoted from the Allahabad High Court judgement to support the argument.

"Justice Sudhir Agrawal held that Kasauti pillars of disputed structures, strongly resemble Buddhist pillars of those seen at Varanasi. Justice S U Khan held that Carnegy (British Archeologist) has mentioned that the Kasauti pillars, were used in the construction of mosque, strongly resembled Buddhist pillars which he had seen in Varanasi," Gautam said.

"Accordinlgy, it is also possible that there were also ruins of some Buddhist religious place on and around the land on which the mosque was constructed and some material was thereof used in the construction of the mosque," he said.

Raj said that the ASI in its report submitted in 2003 had found that there was a circular shrine beneath the disputed structure after which the Allahahad High Court ordered further collection of evidences.

"So far it has not been done. It is most likely that this shrine is of Buddhists. The mosque is made on the ruins of Baudh Vihar and hence should be given to Buddhists," Raj said.

He said that the ASI had maintained that pillar bases in association of huge structure are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found assoicated with temples of Northern India.

"This itself supports that it could be a Buddhist place because temples of North India connote to Hindus, Jains and Buddhists all…Temples of North India are not necessarily Hindu temples. To conclude them as Hindu temples is not correct," he said.

Both Gautam and Raj at the same time maintained that they could consider withdrawing their demand if both Hindus and Muslims accepted the Allahad High Court verdict and refrained from further appeals into the matter.

"Had Hindus and Muslims brought an end to the dispute and accepted the judgement, we would have not made this move.

We are the real claimants but in the larger interest of nation, we would have foregone our claim. But now since both parties have appealed in the Supreme Court, why should we, who are real claimants, remain silent," Gautam said.

Udit Raj agreed with the contention saying this can still be considered if both parties come to an agreement and stop further litigations.

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