National News

New Director General of National Museum is ex-ASI man who found 'remains of temple' at Ayodhya site

Dr Buddha Rashmi Mani was removed from the Archeological Survey of India team following a court verdict after he submitted the controversial report in 2003.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre on Monday appointed Dr Buddha Rashmi Mani Director General of the National Museum. The former Archeological Survey of India employee's team had excavated the disputed Ayodhya site in Uttar Pradesh in 2003 and found remains of what they believed was a temple, reported The Indian Express.

Mani had submitted a report stating that he found remains of a 10th-century temple beneath the site, where the 16th-century Babri Masjid stood till it was demolished by right-wing leaders and supporters in 1992. Mani was later removed from the team following a verdict by the Allahabad High Court.

“Of course, I stand by what our team found. I was replaced because I refused to dig any further, which the court wanted. I felt there was no need to dig any further. So they said the leader of the team has to be changed,” he told the English daily. He said his appointment should not be viewed as a reward from the Narendra Modi government. According to Mani, all the other contenders for the post were junior to him, and that is why he was chosen for the job.

Mani said he had left the ASI team because he did not want to work under a junior. He retired as Additional Director General of the ASI in 2015. Praising the National Democratic Alliance government, Mani said, “We are lucky to have a dynamic personality like Narendra Modi as our Prime Minister.”

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