ASI digs for treasure today, UP govt wants lionís share

GrgThe Raja Rao Ram Bux fort where ASI will start excavation work from Friday. pti

A day before the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is to start digging at Daundiya Kheda village in Unnao for a 19th century treasure ó about which a sadhu apparently dreamt of ó Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has sent an emissary to meet the sadhu to claim the lion's share of the treasure for the development of the state.

Sunil Yadav , who is an advisor in dairy development department and holds a minister of state status, met sadhu Shobhan Sarkar at his ashram at Buxar in Unnao Thursday and held a closed-door meeting for nearly 40 minutes.

"I met Shobhan Sarkar Thursday. I told him that UP should be given preference and adequate funds should be provided for the development of the state. The sadhu agreed and said the treasure is so huge that it can be used to develop the whole state," Yadav said.

Akhilesh perhaps chose Sarkar because he hails from Unnao. "Sarkar's ashram, too, has given two memorandums, which I will forward to the CM," Yadav said Yadav himself believes in Sarkar's dream and says the treasure will be unearthed. "I am not sure about the quantity but there is tonnes of gold buried in the ruins. It will be excavated. Sarkar is ready to be tried for sedition if his dream is not proved true."

Interestingly, Sarkar also claimed that treasures are also hidden at many other places in UP. "He has given me a list of pockets in Kanpur, Bithoor, Fatehpur, etc where similar treasure is hidden. Everything will be conveyed to the CM for further action," Yadav said.

He also said the sadhu has suggested that the treasure could be more easily excavated if the Army was pressed into service.

Meanwhile, due to a heavy rush of media and visitors, the Unnao administration has deployed Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in the village.

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