Former Regional Director (North) of Archaeological Survey of India KK Muhammed on Saturday said he felt vindicated by the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute case, reported PTI. Muhammed, who was a part of the 10-member excavation team at the disputed site, had said that a Ram temple existed before the Babri masjid came up in Ayodhya.

Muhammed said Saturday’s judgement was “ultimate and nothing better could have come out”. The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered the Centre to hand over the disputed Ayodhya site within three months to a trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple there. The top court also ruled that a separate five-acre plot be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya for the construction of a new mosque as relief for the “unlawful destruction” of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

“This is the ultimate judgment and the most balanced one,” said Muhammed who had served the ASI for 24 years before retiring in 2012. “I, as a Muslim, was hounded by certain quarters when I spoke the truth, and today, I stand vindicated. The Honourable Supreme Court had admitted that pieces of evidence produced by the ASI were correct.”

The first excavation of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya was carried out by a team of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1976-’77. On December 15, 1990, Muhammed for the first time claimed that during excavations he saw the remains of the temple. “There were numerous shreds of evidence which showed that the mosque was built not only over the temple, but some remains of the temple were used to construct a mosque,” he told PTI.

He added that some things have to be told at some point. “Some Muslim rulers in the past had knocked down Hindu temples,” he added. “When this wrong act of the rulers is justified, then one becomes part of the original sin.”

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