Unnao gold hunt, Day 1: As it happened

Hoping that every district in Uttar Pradesh yields gold treasure, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, thanked the seer who dreamt of 1,000 tonnes gold treasure believed to be buried under a 19th century fort in Unnao, prompting the ASI to excavate the site.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Oct 30, 2013, 19:11 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

8:00 pm: Akhilesh wishes every district yields gold treasure

Hoping that every district in Uttar Pradesh yields gold treasure, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, thanked the seer who dreamt of 1,000 tonnes gold treasure believed to be buried under a 19th century fort in Unnao, prompting the ASI to excavate the site.

Yadav told reporters that he wanted the seer`s dream to come true. "I only want there be a goldmine in every district of the state," he said in a lighter vein.

4.35 pm: Congress defends evacuation in Unnao

Union Tourism Minister Renuka Renuka Chaudhury defends ASI`s excavation work in Daundia Khera village, saying, "GSI has done survey of (Unnao),there is a deposit of non-conductible metal there."

4.05 pm: ASI director defends excavation in Daundia Khera

ASI Director Syyed Jamal Hussain says, the excavation in Daundia Kera village is being carried out on the basis of surface findings. It will take at least 45 days to complete the excavation work.

3.30 pm: Narendra Modi slams Centre for wasting people`s money over dream

BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi chides the Centre for carrying out excavation to look for 1000-tonnes of gold that a seer dreamt of lying buried in a village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

"The government has started to dig for some 1,000 tonnes gold, after someone dreamt of it. You bring back the money that the looters have stashed in Swiss banks. That would be more than the value of 1,000 tonnes of gold," Modi said.

3.05 pm: `Pipli Live` moment in Daundia Khera village

With the ASI continuing the excavation work in the Daundia Khera village in search of gold, people`s curiosity is at its peak. The ASI`s chase for gold has not only turned the otherwise sleepy village into a hot picnic spot but also sent the gold-hungry nation in a prayer mood that the treasure worth billions is eventually found.

2.10 pm: Centre ignores demand to deploy Army

The central government ignores local seer Shobhan Sarkar`s demand to deploy Army and finish the gold excavation work within a few hours in Daundia Khera village.

1.10 pm: ASI experts mum as digging underway

The ASI team, which is excavating the buried remains of the old Unnao fort in search of 1000-tonnes of gold, is maintaining studied silence over whether or not they will find the treasure.

12.30 pm: Excavation work to continue for one month: Unnao DM

VIjay Kiran Anand, DM Unnao confirms 10 member team from ASI has begun excavation work here in search of gold. The excavation work will be recorded on camera and continue for one month, he says. The Unnao DM further said ASI team will be given full security till the excavation work is over.

12.10 pm: Excavation on amid chanting of mantras

A group of priests and followers of seer Sobhan Sarkar are performing yajnas and chanting Vedic mantras near the excavation site as the ASI continues to dig the remains of the ruined fort here.

10.58 am: SC agrees to hear PIL on ASI excavation

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL seeking court monitoring of ASI`s excavation for tonnes of gold hidden in a fort in the Daundia Khera village.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, however, refused to give an urgent hearing and asked the petitioner, who mentioned the case before it, to remove the defects in the petition which would be taken up for hearing next week.

10.20 am: UP govt stakes claim to hidden treasure

Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal claims that the 1000-tonnes of gold, as claimed by the local seer, will belong to the UP government if it is unearthed in the excavation.

"The excavation has begun....let`s see what comes out...if the gold if found then legally it will be the state government`s property," he said.

9 am: Entry inside fort banned

The local administration banned the entry of locals as the Archaeological Survey of India began excavation work to unearth 1000-tonnes of gold supposedly buried under the remains of former King Ram Bux Singh’s dilapidated fort here.
8.30 am: Digging to continue till 5 pm: ASI

Zee Media reported that the excavations at the fort site will continue till 5 pm today. A team of 6-7 person of ASI is digging the remains of the fort.

8 am: ASI begins excavation

The sleepy Daundaia Kheda village in Uttar Pradesh`s Unnao district is buzzing with activity as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Friday began excavating the remains of former King Ram Bux Singh’s dilapidated fort to verify claims made by a seer that nearly 1,000 tonnes of gold is buried here.

7.30 am: Seer Sobhan Sarkar performs puja

Revered local seer Sobhan Sarkar performs a puja at points marked for excavation in presence of his followers, media and hundreds of curious people who have gathered here hoping to get a glimpse of the hidden treasure if it is actually unearthed.

Here are some big developments in the case.

  • Local seer Shobhan Sarkar dreamt of the invaluable gold treasure hidden in those ruins.
  • The ruined Unnao fort became a centre of attraction for people after the revered seer, Shobhan Sarkar, convinced the local gram sabha members about his dream and sent his emissary to the District Collector to grant permission for digging in the area.
  • After the news spread, the ASI also sent a high level team to survey the area and finally decided to begin excavation work from October 18.
  • Sarkar, in the meantime, also convinced Union Minister Charandas Mahant of his dream, leading to which a team of ASI and Geological Survey of India (GSI) officials surveyed the area.
  • GSI confirmed the presence of metal underground.
  • Mahant, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, visited Sarkar`s ashram here on September 22 and October 7 and assured him of needful action.
  • Sarkar`s follower, Swami Omji claims that Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh, who was martyred during 1857 battle with Britishers, came in the dream of Sarkar and told him to take care of the gold buried in the remains of his fort.
  • The entire excavation work is being carried out under strict supervision of the ASI and as per the directives of the state government.
  • The descendents of Unnao`s erstwhile ruler Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh have staked claim to nearly 1,000 tonnes of gold supposedly buried in the remains of the fort situated in Daundaia Kheda village here.
  • The ASI is relying on basic way of excavation using spades and shovels.
  • Its experts will not employ the non-destructive technique, which entails heavy use of technology. PK Mishra, Superintendent Archaeologist, ASI UP Circle earlier clarified that the terrain requires the old way of digging.

    Also read: SC agrees to hear PIL to monitor ASI`s excavation for Unnao gold

    Also read: Unnao gold treasure hunt: Will the sage`s dream come true?