Keeladi excavation: Madras HC serves notice to Centre on plea to publish report

Chennai, Feb 8 (IANS) The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered a notice to the Centre directing the ASI to publish the report submitted to it after the first two phases of Keeladi archaeological excavations in Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga district.

A Division Bench of Justices D. Krishnakumar and R. Vijayakumar on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on the petition filed by P. Prabhakar Pandian of Madurai.

It may be noted that Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Amarnath K.Ramakrishnan, had submitted a 982-page report on the findings of the first two phases of excavations to the then Director General of ASI in 2023.

Prabhakar Pandian, who filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), said that about 5,800 artefacts were unearthed in Keeladi during the Phase I and Phase II of the archaeological excavations.

The ASI also stated that there were no significant findings in the Phase III of the excavations and the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology has carried out the excavations from the fourth phase and so far nine phases have been completed.

The PIL said that several significant findings have been made at Keeladi and that this would throw light on the rich culture that prevailed in the area during the Sangam period.

The petitioner also said that people from all hues in Tamil Nadu, including political leaders, historians, academicians, researchers, archaeological and Tamil enthusiasts, are demanding the reason for the delay in the publication of the 982-page report.

He also sought direction to the ASI to publish the report in the public domain.

The court ordered notice and adjourned the hearing in the case by four weeks.



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