Ayodhya Dispute - Demolition of The Babri Mosque

Demolition of The Babri Mosque

By the middle of the 20th century, Hindus in the area were claiming that the mosque had not been used by Muslims since 1936, and according to a court ruling an idol of Rama was placed inside the mosque in the intervening night of 22/23 December 1949. A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP party) to reclaim the site for Hindus who want to erect a temple dedicated to the infant Rama (Ramlala) at this spot.

On 6 December 1992, the structure was demolished by karsevaks, 150,000 strong, despite a commitment by the government to the Indian Supreme Court that the mosque would not be harmed. More than 2000 people were killed in the riots following the demolition. Riots broke out in many major Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

On 16 December 1992, the Liberhan Commission was set up by the Government of India to probe the circumstances that led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque. It was the longest running commission in India's history with several extensions granted by various governments. Atal Behari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, senior leaders of the of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were held culpable by the report. Other senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and top brass of VHP like Giriraj Kishore and Ashok Singhal were also held culpable. Other prominent political leaders indicted by the commission include late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, former RSS leader K Govindacharya, late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, former BJP leader Uma Bharti and BJP leader Vijayraje Scindia.

Many Muslim organisations have continued to express outrage at the destruction of the disputed structure. In July 2005, Islamic terrorists attacked the makeshift temple at the site of the destroyed mosque. In 2007, M. N. Gopal Das, the then head of the Ram temple, received phone calls making threats against his life. Many terror attacks by banned jehadi outfits like IM cited demolition of Babri Mosque as an excuse for terrorist attacks. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, many Hindu women were raped and hundreds of Hindu homes and temples were destroyed.

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