New Delhi, June 16, 2003. A few days ago a news item allegedly supplied by the Archaeological Survey of India was planted in the newspapers that no evidence of a pre-existing structure under the disputed Rama Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid was found. The said news item was definitely deceptive, groundless, misrepresented and calculated to dupe the country. The misrepresented item was based on an unfinished progress report of the ASI. Three-fourths of the report have been concealed. The item was cooked up on the basis of the excavation report of a spot that was about 50 feet away from the western wall of the Rama Janma Bhumi structure. As such the inferences of the news item based on the report of this pit is reckless. In spite of this, even these pits gave away two-thousand year old molded bricks and ornate stone pieces of different shapes and sizes. The news item dishonored these facts.
The excavations so far give ample traces that there was a mammoth pre-existing structure beneath the three-domed Babri structure. Ancient perimeters from East to West and North to South have been found beneath the Babri fabrication. The bricks used in these perimeters predate the time of Babur. Beautiful stone pieces bearing carved Hindu ornamentations like lotus, Kaustubh jewel, alligator facade, etc., have been used in these walls. These decorated architectural pieces have been anchored with precision at varied places in the walls. A tiny portion of a stone slab is sticking out at a place below 20 feet in one of the pits. The rest of the slab lies covered in the wall. The projecting portion bears a five-letter Dev Nagari inscription that turns out to be a Hindu name. The items found below 20 feet should be at least 1,500 years old. According to archaeologists about a foot of loam layer gathers on topsoil every hundred years. Primary clay was not found even up to a depth of 30 feet. It provides the clue to the existence of some structure or the other at that place during the last 2,500 years.
More than 30 pillar bases have been found at equal spans. The pillar-bases are in two rows and the rows are parallel. The pillar-base rows are in North-South direction. A wall is superimposed upon another wall. At least three layers of the floor are visible. An octagonal holy fireplace (Yagna Kund) has been found. These facts prove the enormity of the pre-existing structure. Surkhii has been used as a construction material in our country since over 2000 years and in the constructions at the Janma Bhumi Surkhii has been extensively used. Molded bricks of round and other shapes and sizes were neither in vogue during the middle ages nor are in use today. It was in vogue only 2,000 years ago. Many ornate pieces of touchstone (Kasauti stone) pillars have been found in the excavation. Terracotta idols of divine fugurines, serpent, elephant, horse-rider, saints, etc., have been found. Even to this day terracotta idols are used in worship during Diwali celebrations and then put by temple sanctums for invoking divine blessings. The Gupta and the Kushan period bricks have been found. Brick walls of the Gahadwal period (12th Century CE) have been found in excavations.
Nothing has been found to prove the existence of residential habitation there. The excavation gives out the picture of a vast compound housing a sole distinguished and greatly celebrated structure used for divine purposes and not that of a colony or Mohalla consisting of small houses. That was an uncommon and highly celebrated place and not a place of habitation for the common people. Hindu pilgrims have always been visiting that place for thousands of years. Even today there are temples around that place and the items found in the excavations point to the existence of a holy structure of North Indian architectural style at that place.
So the excavation was to find the answer to the question as to whether Babur superimposed the domed structure on a preexisting structure after demolishing it or built it on virgin ground. The answer to this question has been found from the excavations.