- Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992 by ‘karsevaks’
- Since then, every year on 6th December, VHP observes "shaurya diwas"
- While the Muslim groups observe it as a black day
After 26 years of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, there is a sense of equanimity in the holy city, but the title suit dispute and growing chorus for the Ram temple construction have once again converted the place into a battle field ahead of the 2019 polls. India Today tracks down the karsevaks who participated in the frenzied demolition operation. They feel proud of what happened in 1992 and are eagerly waiting for a grand temple construction.
Ram Vilas Vedanti, the former BJP lawmaker and a prominent saint, who was leading the group of karsevaks broke the security cordon on 6th December 1992 to demolish the Babri Masjid.
Speaking to India Today, Vedanti said, "We are proud of what happened 26 years ago. Despite of the warning issued by senior BJP leaders like Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Raj Mata Scindia, the karsevaks remained defiant and dismantled the mosque completely within 5 hours. It was a historic moment for everyone. The land belongs to Lord Ram and no mosque can he built there."
Hazari Lal, who came to Ayodhya from Shahjahanpur to participate in the karseva, has now permanently settled here. He was in fact a part of the group who breached the security and brought down the first dome of the mosque on the day of the demolition.
Recalling the deranged scenes, Hazari said, "I have permanently settled here because a grand temple of Lord Ram has to be constructed. During dismantling of the first dome of Babri Masjid, I suffered injuries on hand and shoulder. I was admitted in the hospital for 22 days. Since last 26 years, we are getting the stones carved here for Ram mandir construction. Another karseva for temple construction cannot be ruled out if no resolution comes out in the near future."
Santosh Dubey, a local Shiv Sena leader, said, "It was pre-planned and we were given training to demolish the mosque. The demolition orders were also given by Bal Thackeray. We are proud of what happened in 1992. Many people also sacrificed their lives. Therefore, the govt should respect our sentiments and clear all the obstacles in construction of Ram temple."
A photographer in Ayodhya, Mahindra Tripathi, who clicked the maximum pictures of the demolition said, "The karsevaks were on a rampage that day and didn't listen to anyone. Pickaxes, hammers, shovels and iron rods were used by them to dismantle the mosque. There were lakhs of karsevaks who also targeted media for doing the coverage."
Another photographer Mahendra Pathak said, "It was even not possible for the God to stop the karsevaks. They were mentally prepared for the onslaught and the security had succumbed before their aggressiveness. The stones were pelted at journalists who were covering this highly unruly act in Ayodhya. Those who have witnessed the situation can never forget what happened 26 years ago here."
Since then every year on 6th December, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) observes "shaurya diwas" to celebrate the demolition of the Babri Masjid while the Muslim groups observe black day in the city.
Like every year, this time also the security was stepped up in Ayodhya. Multiple companies of PAC and paramilitary forces were deployed as a precautionary measure.
The VHP and saints continue to reiterate their demands for a legislation in Parliament for the temple construction while the Muslim groups say that the Supreme Court verdict should be accepted by everyone.