The Federation of Barua Buddhists’ Welfare Association of Assam (FBBWAA) has urged the government to protect and preserve the Buddha idols unearthed during excavation at Saket (Ayodhya) in Uttar Pradesh on May 22 last.

FBBWAA, general secretary, Sibu Talukdar while talking to Northeast Now said, “During excavation a good number of pieces of Buddha idol have been found in the land where the Ram Mandir is proposed to be constructed.”

“The Buddhist society does not have any intention to interfere in the matter of construction of Ram Mandir, but we request the authority to protect and preserve the Buddha idols instead of crushing them,” he added.

Talukdar said, “We urge the government to protect and preserve the ancient Buddha idols in a museum considering the dignity of idol.”

He said the Buddha idols were during the time of King Ashoka.

Ayodhya has a great importance in the Buddhist literature.

It is referred to as Saket in traditional Buddhist literature.

British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham who was also the first director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) identified three Buddhist places – Mani Parbat, Kuber Parbat and Sugriv Parbat at the site of Ayodhya.

Congress leader Udit Raj also demanded analysis of the recovered items by ASI.

In a tweet on Friday, the former MP stated that the ‘Dhamma Chakra’ and ‘Stupas’ recovered from the site bore testimony to his claim.

“After proper examining it can be said about the actual date of the Buddha idols which were found during excavation. Earlier, many relics of Buddha were found from the place,” said an expert.

The FBBWAA strongly demanded to protect the relics of Buddha idol which have been found during excavation work.

The work of the protection and preservation should be undertaken by the UNESCO, it demanded.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com