Seer Shoban Sarkar’s dream about 2,500 tonnes of gold buried in Adampur village is yet to spur an official treasure hunt like the one at Unnao, but an army of tantrics has launched its own search—more vandalism, less excavation— for the yellow metal.
The tantrics, each accompanied by his supporters, have dug more than nine places in search of gold ever since Sarkar announced that a treasure much bigger than the one currently being excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India officials at Unnao lies buried at Adampur, a small village in Fatehpur district.
Sarkar’s emissary Swami Om had recently called on the Fatehpur administration, seeking excavation for the 2,500-tonne gold treasure. According to him the treasure was close to the surface and could be visible to naked eyes in a matter of minutes.
His words had a telling impact on the treasure hunters who started digging up to five feet on their own. Their activities increased after the word spread the ASI team will be inspecting the sites and might begin excavation soon.
But not only have the treasure hunters damaged ancient sculptures and idols, they have also thrashed priests and caretakers in temples.
On Saturday night, a few of them dug up an area of 300 square metres in the backyard of historic Shiv temple in Adampur.
To gain access to the spot, the henchmen of the tantrics held two priests—Sant Mohan Dass and his disciple Ram Dutt—hostage at gun point. The duo was asked to divulge the location of hidden gold and when they explained they had no about any hidden gold, they were ruthlessly beaten. Their clothes were smeared in blood.
Though treasure hunts have been common in Adampur, Sarkar’s prophecy triggered a frenzy.
“For long, Adampur has been believed to be a repository of hidden gold. Baba’s (Sarkar’s) confirmation has strengthened the belief,” says Dhindrenda Singh Deepu, a villager.
Two days ago, the revered Shiv Chabutara was found covered with vermillion and other evidences of tantric rituals. Another Shiv temple was found vandalised and the Shivling uprooted.
“Stopping and questioning people in the night has become rampant. Unknown people emerge from nowhere and question about the fort’s topography and sanctum sanctorum of the Shiv temple,” says Ram Chaturbhuj, a villager.
Legend has it that the treasure belongs to the King of Reeva who moved it to the fort he built near the Shiv temple.
Three places— surroundings of the temple, the fort and Shiv chabutara—are said to be where the gold could have been buried. And in the week or so they have been literally turned upside down.
“One can see the places were dug up deep in the night. Things are pretty scary,” says Chaturbuj.
Alarmed by the situation, Fatehpur administration has sent the PAC jawans to the village.
“They’ve been asked to secure the historical sites and the local police have beefed up patrolling,” said Abhay Kumar, collector Fatehpur.