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Jain body jumps into Ayodhya dispute, claims disputed site

Press Trust of India

Posted: Mar 09, 2003 at 1558 hrs IST

A Jain body on Sunday staked claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya saying the demolished structure was built on the remnants of an ancient Jain temple which would be proved during excavation to be carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India.

"The only structure that could be found during excavation would be a sixth century Jain temple", Jain Samata Vahini, a social organisation of the Jains, said in a statement.

The demolished disputed structure was actually built on the remnants of an ancient Jain temple, and the excavation by ASI, ordered by Allahabad High Court to settle the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi dispute, would prove it, general secretary of Jain Samata Vahini, Sohan Mehta, said.

"We want the site to be handed over to us in case a Jain temple is found", he said.

Mehta said the national executive of the Vahini, which met in Jodhpur on March six, decided to stake claim to the disputed site and make eforts to become a party in the Ayodhya case pending before the Allahabad High Court.

It is a well known fact that Ayodhya was the place where five Jain teerthankars, Rishabhdeo, Ajeeth Nath, Abhinandanji, Sumati Nath and Anant Nath, stayed. The ancient city was among the five biggest centres of Jainism and Buddhism till 450 years ago, Mehta asserted quoting writings of 18th century Jain monks.

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