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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Srinagar's treasure trove sparks looting spree

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, July 25, 2011
First Published: 20:36 IST(25/7/2011) | Last Updated: 20:37 IST(25/7/2011)

Senior officials of Kashmir's archives, archeology and museum's department on Monday scrambled to recover looted 600-year-old coins after a construction company stumbled upon a treasure trove in Srinagar's downtown area last weekend.    

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A melee broke out on Saturday evening among the labourers and locals in Srinagar's Shree Bhat area when the National Building Construction Corporation, digging a deep sewage, stumbled upon an earthen pot containing hundreds of coins.  

"People mistook the coins for gold ones and started looting them to make quick bucks. Most labourers and the locals have them now," deputy director archives M S Zahid told the HT.  

The pot full of coins was found just outside the shrine of Ahmad Shah Sirhindi Muchama Sahib at Alamgari Bazar. "There must have been more than 200 coins but only 130 have been recovered by the police from labourers," said Zahid. 

The adjacent area to the site, Nowshera, served as Srinagar's capital during 15th century king Zain-ul-Abideen's reign. "The whole area being the capital has many cultural and monumental sites," said Zahid.  

There was delay in recovery and investigation of the coins because the police was busy on Sunday to ensure smooth functions of a separatist and a mainstream rallies in the same area. 

"There was delay. But now the curators have been rushed. The coins are highly corrugated so will take time in their finishing. It's difficult to say what material it is but the coins are from 15th century," said Zahid.  

Many bounty hunters have started returning the coins after it failed to fetch them any money in the market.


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