Archaeological discovery in Haryana: Ancient mound, and 50,000 people! What lies ahead

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Updated: Feb 24, 2020 4:14 PM

Sirsa, a district in Haryana, houses a mound which is believed to unravel some clues about the ancient city ‘Sarishika’.

A court hearing on the matter is due this week.

Sirsa, a district in Haryana, houses a mound which is believed to unravel some clues about the ancient city ‘Sarishika’. In order to study the ancient ruins, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has to relocate nearly 50,000 people residing on around 82 acres of land. The High Court had ordered 788 families to be rehabilitated three years ago and they still do not have access to basic amenities. As a result, the residents living near the archaeological site are not willing to move from there, the Indian Express reported. The report also said that local residents have also accused the authorities for declaring Sirsa’s ‘Ther Mound’ under Ancient Monuments Preservation Act of 1904.

The clash between residents and security personnel has led to many petitions in both Punjab and Haryana high courts. The report said that the government is allegedly trying to see if the ASI can get hold of the parts out of the protected zone, which is heavily inhabited. According to the ASI Superintending Archaeologist Zulfequar Ali, who is in charge of the mound, ASI has found some antiquarian remains from many periods including Gupta and Mughal in three months. But the area and time allotted to them was not enough and they are requesting more time. This was done after some people were evacuated in FY19. A court hearing on the matter is due this week, the report said.

The land is currently occupied by those who had moved to India after the partition. The people have also protested that the land under protection should only be 31 acres and not 82 acres. The report also stressed that the people are not willing to move because some houses given by the government for people to move do not have healthy living conditions. According Deputy Commissioner Bidhan, a status report has been submitted to the government and will be reviewed in the High Court.

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