Deflating the hype over the "gold hunt" in UP's Unnao district, Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch today claimed that ASI has not started the digging at the 19th century fort looking for 1000 tonnes of gold rather it is trying to find weapons used by Indian fighters in the 1857 mutiny.
It is to be noted that the fort at Daundiya Khera village grabbed the attention of national as well as international media after reports emerged that a seer had dreamt of having seen the huge amount of gold lying buried inside the fort. The ASI had started digging at the fort around a week ago but they were yet to find a single gram of the precious metal.
Many political leaders and experts have slammed the government for following a seer's dream but the minister maintained that the ASI started the digging on the basis of a report prepared by Geological Survey of India which claimed that alloys were buried below the ground.
"I like to tell the people accusing me that they are trying to put hindrance in a routine work of excavation which normally starts from October 1 and lasts till Monsoon. We are at the moment carrying out excavation in 148 different areas all over the country. Why are they picking up only this site because somebody has said that he has a dream. Our work started on October 1. Let anyone presume whatever they want," Katoch said.
Replying to a query that whether she is hopeful that the ASI would be able to find 1000 tonnes gold there, the minister refused to give a direct reply, saying the alloy can be anything.
"We have a report from GSI saying that there is an alloy in this area. Alloy can be anything. I cannot say whether it is gold, silver or steel. There can be guns or idols. We are trying to locate the weapons used by Indians in the mutiny which we don't have any in our museum or stores. We are trying to find something which is connected to the mutiny and used by the Indians," she emphasised.