As preparations are underway to begin the work for the construction of a grand temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Buddhist followers reached the site on Tuesday and called for a UNESCO-monitored excavation.
Two Buddhist monks, who reached Ayodhya from East Champaran in Bihar, have launched a hunger strike near the office of District Magistrate of Ayodhya, claimed that the Ram Janmabhoomi complex was a Buddhist site.
The chief of Azad Bauddh Dhamma Sena, Bhanteya Buddha Sharan Kesariya says the remains found at the Ram Janmabhoomi are evidence that Ayodhya was once actually the ancient Buddhist city of Saket, which was established by Kaushal Naresh Raja Prasenjit in memory of the sage Lomash Rishi.
Controversy erupted over the ancient statues and insignia which were found during the levelling of the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
The All India Azad Buddhist Dhamma Army has demanded that remains found during the excavation of the Ram Janmabhoomi be preserved.
The organisation believes that the symbols found in the complex are from the Buddhist period.
The Azad Bauddh Dhamma Sena chief said, “The Dhamma Army has demanded the excavation of Ram Janmabhoomi site under the protection of UNESCO. The organisation does not oppose the construction of Ram temple. There is a demand to preserve the remains of Buddhist culture. Buddhists believe that the city of Lord Ram is the ancient city of Saket, which was considered to be the city of Buddha.”
The Buddhist monks have said that those who want to build the Ram temple should build it, but they should not destroy the Buddhist symbols found during the excavation, rather they should be protected.
Both the Buddhists monks are demanding land in Ayodhya, where they can preserve the inscriptions found in the excavation.