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The day Babri was demolished
By Shahid Siddiqui
|It was 6 December 1992. All of us were present at the residence of Sayyed Ibrahim Suleiman Saith, Muslim League president. News of the demolition of one dome of Babri Masjid was announced by BBC. Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi, Sayyed Ahmed Hashmi, Sayed Shahabuddin and other high-ups were there. I was asked to contact the President and the Prime Minister immediately and take appointments for a delegation of Muslim leaders. I got the reply from Rashtrapati Bhawan that the President, Shankar Dayal Sharma, is prepared to meet the Muslim leaders immediately and we were asked to reach Rashtrapati Bhawan. On the other side we got the reply from Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s residence that he is asleep and as soon as he gets up, he will be informed about Muslims leaders' desire to meet him.
When we met the President, there were tears in his eyes. His limbs were shaking. He showed us the letter he had written to the Prime Minister. Surely, such a harsh letter was never written by any President to any Prime Minster. In this letter the President had held the Congress government directly responsible for this incident. He had directed for the imposition of President’s rule immediately in UP and to prevent further destruction of the mosque.
Narasimha Rao invited us at his residence at 6.30 pm. When he came after about 15 minutes, his waist was bent and his voice was choked but in his sly eyes there was cunning and cruelty instead of sorrow and agony. He expressed his great regret. We requested him to immediately send army and stop them from destroying the mosque. He said that the mosque has been destroyed far beyond your imagination. In reply to my query whether more than one dome has been destroyed, he said all the three domes are destroyed. I asked if the remaining parts are safe, he said that too is finished. We were surprised to note that the Prime Minister, instead of minimizing the damage, is exaggerating it. Later on, however, it dawned on us that he was doing so because his intention was to build a temple there after the destruction of the mosque.
However, at that time he said that he could not save the mosque but promised to rebuild the mosque there. At this Sayed Shahabuddin burst into tears and requested him to do this much for which we shall be grateful to him forever. Hearing this I flew into a rage and said sternly that when you could not protect the mosque, what else will you build there? Please don’t try to fool us any more and please impose President’s rule in UP immediately and hand over Ayodhya to the army. The mosque is now demolished but don’t allow Ram Mandir to be built there. If Ram Mandir is built there now, you will be fully responsible for it. He promised in the presence of Muslims leaders that within half an hour papers for President’s rule in UP will be signed and will be sent to the Governor of UP and that Ram Mandir will not be allowed to be built in Ayodhya.
I remained awake for the whole night of 7 December. Sometimes I ran up to Rajesh Pilot who was minister of state for internal security at that time, sometimes to Madho Rao Scindia. Sometimes I used to rush to Muslim ministers calling them names, sometimes to Congress leaders like Jitendra Prasad and Ahmad Patel and begged them to stop the construction of temple there, for God’s sake, otherwise the country will be destroyed and there will be blood bath.
Meanwhile, Congressmen like Salman Khurshid were engaged in a signature campaign of Muslims leaders in support of Narasimha Rao. He informed me on telephone that this is a plot against Rao and something ought to be done to save him. Hearing this I felt as if someone has thrust a poisonous dagger into my chest. I could not control myself and abused Salman Khurshid badly - though such behavior is not in my blood. I told him that it is a plot against India. If your conscience is not totally dead, try to save the mosque, not the Narasimha Rao government.
Next day it was 7 December. I was continuously in touch with journalists and politicians in Ayodhya. The representative of Nai Dunia Jamshed Adil was in Ayodhya and was giving me news every hour or so. News was coming that the debris of the mosque are being removed and the construction of the temple is in progress but police and army are nowhere in sight. President’s Rule had already been imposed in the evening of 6 December and authority had completely been vested with the Congress government at the Centre. CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) were stationed eleven kilometers away from the mosque and were waiting for the green signal to go ahead and stop the construction of the temple at the site of demolition. The crowd of ‘kar sevaks’ had left. There were only a few thousand men, most of whom were hired labourers who were building the temple on the debris of the mosque.
Rajesh Pilot informed me that Rao has permitted him and that he was forthwith going to Ayodhya by helicopter and that he will never allow the construction of the temple even at the risk of his life. I went to Arjun Singh. He said that riots have broken out in the country at various places. He advised me to be careful and leave the problem of the mosque to them. He assured me that the temple will not be built there. But news from Ayodhya was coming that the construction of the temple is going on and idols have again been placed at the site of the mosque, that worship has started and all this is being done with the help of the administration.
I was by now sure that all Congressmen from top to bottom together with Narasimha Rao are part of this plot. The work of the construction of the Ram Mandir is being done fully under a well-thought-out plot and pre-planned scheme. Orders were issued to RAF at 3.30 am in the night of 7-8 December to leave their weapons at the headquarters and march towards the mosque. These forces reached there in 6-7 minutes. They were ordered to remove their shoes and belts and march past and have ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla [child Ram's idol], give offerings and move out to the other side. It is thus clear that police was sent not for protecting the mosque but to completely sanctify the temple with ‘Puja’, ‘Aradhna’ etc.
Immediately thereafter, anti-Muslim riots broke out throughout the country, this too according to a plan and plot. The riots were so violent that Muslims forgot about the mosque and were busy in saving their lives and property and honour and chastity of their womenfolk. For four years thereafter Congress government was there at the Centre. In spite of President’s rule and Congress governments in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh etc. Muslims were subjected to immense cruelties and barbarism. Muslims who protested or even slightly raised their voice were taken into custody under TADA and/or declared ISI agents.
As a result of pressure from Muslims, FIR was registered against Advani, Joshi etc after one year. Bal Thakrey was openly declaring that the mosque was demolished by his men under his orders but no action was taken against him. Justice Liberhan Commission was appointed to enquire into the demolition of Babri Masjid but the Congress government deliberately did not provide it with the necessary means and resources and did not cooperate with it. In short, Congress not only got the Babri Masjid demolished but built the temple in its place as well. No worthwhile action was taken against Shiv Sena, Bajranj Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS. As against this, thousands of Muslims were arrested and imprisoned under TADA. A large number of Muslim Ulama were wooed and won over and today those very Congressmen are ‘mourning’ in Parliament the martyrdom of Babri Masjid and trying to assure Muslims that they are the champions and torch-bearers of secularism and your protectors. They are saying we are your protectors, the rest are your enemies.
(Translated from Urdu) q