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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Gold-hunt village turns into global curiosity overnight

Gulam Jeelani, Hindustan Times  Daundia Kheda (Unnao), October 19, 2013
First Published: 19:59 IST(19/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:04 IST(19/10/2013)

The gold-hunt village has literally turned into a spot of global curiosity with Indian and foreign media pitching their camps to report the state-sponsored dig for a seer’s dream---1000-tonne precious yellow metal.

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Daundia Kheda village with 3,000-odd population, just 100 km away from Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow, is suddenly alive with activities it has never witnessed before—not even when Raja Ram Bux Singh, who allegedly buried his gold beneath his fort, was killed by the British during 1857.

A battery of media vans are lined up on one side of the barricaded digging site and the other side has been occupied by business-wise local vendors to sell eatables and daily utility stuff. And along with it goes the gossip about old gold legends and the present Baba’s dream.

Spread over 60 acres, the site comprises three Shiv temples, a Panchayat Bhavan, a vast ground and the mound, where the excavation is taking place.

The main temple, which hosted a school a few days ago, is now a special prayer place where people can be seen performing kirtans  to see Baba’s dream come true.

“We came to know about the gold from newspapers. I am here to see Baba’s dream come true,” Virendra Kumar, a seer from Barabanki said.

Amidst the unprecedented hunt for a ‘gold mine’, the locals of the village, that is yet to be connected with electricity, said they knew about the possible gold treasure from their ancestors. “Our elders often narrated the stories of gold hidden under the fort. It is nothing new for us,” Chandra Bhanu, a 55-year-old shopkeeper said.

There are some who just cannot doubt Baba Sarkar. “Had he not been sincere why would he announce it publicly? Even if he uses some portion of it, but we won’t mind if it is used for development of the area,” said Harinam Verma, a local farmer.

The police are having a tough time stopping the curious crowds of people trying to sneak into the barricaded area to have a closer look at the dig. Despite, efforts some have managed to slip nearer to the spot traversing the non-restricted fields, which now abound in endless desire lines.


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