A virtual gold rush in UP's Unnao has begun with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) starting the excavation work at king Raja Ram Bux Singh's fort in Duandia Khera. The excavation is taking place on a mound near a Shiva temple after a revered Hindu seer Shobhan Sarkar had made claims of dreaming of a buried treasure. The fort is believed to be home to a treasure of 1,000 tonnes of gold worth Rs 30,00,00 crore. With global attention focused on Daundia Khera, people are converging to watch the spectacle involving hordes of curious onlookers, make-shift street food carts serving delicacies, hundreds of media OB vans and a police force struggling with milling crowds.
Shobhan Sarkar reportedly convinced Minister of State Charandas Mahant of his dream, who got an ASI team and GSI officials to survey the area. The authorities have installed CCTV cameras, cordoned off the area and deployed policemen to keep the crowd at bay. The archaeologists plan to dig two 100-square-metre blocks beside the fort.
Ram Bux Singh was hanged in 1858 after fighting against the British. Meanwhile, a PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court, seeking court monitoring of the digging work. The petition says that court monitoring is required as the valuable resources might "vanish" and also pleads for an urgent hearing.