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NEW DELHI: With its official gold holdings currently estimated at 557 tons, India will be one lucky nation if it succeeds in its hunt for the 1,000 tons of the yellow metal secretly buried under a mound in the ruins of a fort built by 19th-century small ruler Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh in Uttar Pradesh.
The fort ruins lie at Duandia Kheda village in Unnao district at a distance of about 100 km from Lucknow.
The hunt has been launched after a local seer Shobhan Sarkar said the late Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh, who was hanged by the British for taking part in the Mutiny of 1857, appeared in his dream to reveal the 1,000 tons of gold that he buried in his fort.
The seer promptly asked the government of India to dig up the treasure. At the current price, the value of the hidden gold treasure is $48,000 million.
Sure, a 12-member team from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Geological Survey of India is digging feverishly for the gold treasure that is said to lie 20 metres below the ground. But it all could turn out to be a wild gold chase. Because it is impossible to imagine that a small ruler would hold so much gold when even the Nizam of Hyderabad – by far the richest of all Indian princely states – boasted only $160 million worth of the precious metal.
As his men work with spades and pickaxes in search of the gold treasure, Archeological Survey of India (AS) superintending archeologist PK Mishra said on Sunday, “I am not sure whether we will find gold there. But, our findings have shown that there is something metallic down there. It could be anything. We will be able to predict it after testing the soil texture as we near the spot.”
About the seer’s dream,Mishra said, “We do not work on dreams.’’ He added that they began the digging only after a preliminary geological survey found `proof’ of a non-rocky substance 20 metres below the ground.
What will happen to the seer Shobhan Sarkar who made the gold prophecy if it turns out to be false?
“Send me behind bars if I am proven wrong,” the seer says.
The whole government machinery is very serious about the hunt as the digging site has been cordoned off by three companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and is under surveillance through CCTV cameras.
After all, the 1,000-ton gold haul, if it is found, would be a huge bonanza for India, considering that the told gold in the world is estimated to be between 155,244 tons and 171,300 tons.
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