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Published in the 1-15 July 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Babri roundup

"Evidences about Ayodhya doubtful"

The Milli Gazette Online

Lucknow: Mahant Dharam Das’s witness Bishan Bahadur (who is also a historian) while deposing before the special commissioner Hari Shankar Dubey in Babri Masjid ownership case on the second day admitted that Ayodhya‘s history is missing in many cases and whatever proofs or evidences are available are doubtful. In reply to Zafaryab Jilani’s queries, he contradicted his own statement made the previous day that Mohammad Ghauri and Shahabuddin Ghauri are two different persons. He said today (on 27 April) that both are the same person. He said that he had made a wrong statement because he had high blood pressure. 

Again, contradicting his previous day’s statement he said that he had wrongly stated that Shahabuddin Ghauri had come to Ayodhya before 1192. He said that Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghauri had demolished only one Jain Mandir in Ayodhya and said that the allegation that he had destroyed all temples Ayodhya is wrong.

After seeing the British historian Neville’s book, he said that this is an important proof of history. He agreed with the writing in the book that at that time Kaushalya Bhawan of Ayodhya was itself considered the Janmabhoomi but he could not say how far is Kaushalya Bhawan from Babari Masjid.

He further said in his statement that Ayodhya’s Guptar Ghat is not mentioned in history but its tradition is very old. He also agreed with Neville’s views, as mentioned in his book, that Ayodhya’s existence is from ancient times but its complete history is not available. He also agreed with the writing in the historian Dr Sushil’s history book that whatever evidences about Ayodhya are available are doubtful. He said that during the periods of Moghul kings Jahangir and Shahjahan, Ayodhya’s importance had very much increased. He also admitted that there was no political or religious activity in Ayodhya from 650 AD to 1050 CE. (Rashtriya Sahara, April 28, 2005)

Ghauri did not attack Ayodhya

Lucknow: Mahant Dharam Das’s witness in the Babri Masjid ownership case, Bishan Bahadur who is also a historian said in response to a question by Zafaryab Jilani that the king Mohammad Ghauri had never attacked Ayodhya. Testifying before the special commissioner, Hari Shankar Dubey he described Shahabuddin Ghauri and Mohammad Ghauri as two different persons and said that Shahabuddin Ghauri never ruled over India because after attacking, he used to go back.

He said that Shahabuddin Ghauri attacked India for the first time in 1191-92 when he had defeated Qannauj’s Raja Jaichand and gone back after that. About Mohd Ghauri he said that he had attacked India for the last time in 1194. He further said that Shahabuddin Ghauri had come to Ayodhya much before 1192 when Gaharwal ruled over Ayodhya. After attacking Ayodhya, he had gone back and thereafter Gaharwal’s rule was re-established but he could not say whether war between Shahabuddin Ghauri and Prithvi Raj Chauhan had taken place or not. He said that Shahabuddin had come to attack Ayodhya but he could not say what was his other motive. He said in his statement that Mohammad Ghauri had died in 1206 but he could not say when Shahabuddin Ghauri died.

Lawyers and audience in the court were intently listening to this witness though he was inconsistent. During cross examination he was roaming here and there and very often contradicted his own earlier statements. (Rashtriya Sahara, April, 27, 2005)

"Towers of Babri converted into domes in 1934"

Lucknow: Ramesh Chandra Tirpathi, witness of the opposite party in the Babri Masjid ownership case while testifying before special commissioner Hari Shankar Dubey said that in 1934 all the three towers of Babri Masjid were deformed and turned into domes. In reply to Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqi’s question on behalf of Muslim parties, he admitted that except Babri Masjid he has not seen any temple with three domes. He said that in 1934 even after the change of towers into domes this building (Babri Masjid) remained a temple.

He said that on the basis of the shape and architectural style of this building it cannot be called a temple and he also would not have accepted it as a temple but since puja is going on here,, it is a temple. He said that on the basis of traditions and lore he is saying that after 1934 Muslims did not come here nor was namaz offered here. He said that the contention of some people that what he calls a samadhi are in fact the mazars of Muslims is wrong. 

During cross examination by Zafaryab Jilani earlier, he said that whatever he had said in reply to Jilani’s question he had come to know from his father. He had heard from his father whatever he had said about Janmasthan and the idols placed inside Babri Masjid before 1949. Similarly, he had heard from his father that no namaz was ever offered in Babri Masjid. He however could not say what was the fate of goods and idols placed inside the mosque when Babri Masjid was demolished. In any case he said that he has heard that in the existing make-believe temple the idols were placed by Mahant Dharam Das on 7 December 1992 with all respect. (Rashtriya Sahara, May 19, 2005)

“Babar was in Ayodhya for a week in 1528”

Lucknow: Bishan Bahadur, witness of Dharam Das in Babri Masjid ownership case, who is also a historian described the writings of all historians as wrong and said that Moghul king Babar had stayed in Ayodhya from 28 March to 2 April 1528. In reply to a question by R. L. Varma, witness of Nirmohi Akhara, he said that there are proofs that Babar had stayed in Ayodhya.

He further said that when Babar had defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, his Afghan governor declared himself independent. Therefore Babar had come to Ayodhya to control the governors and to clip their powers. He also disputed the contention that Babar had by-passed Ayodhya and had gone beyond Tanda via Sultanpur. But he said Babar had not established his rule here (Ayodhya). His commander Mir Baqi had demolished the temple in Ayodhya and had built a mosque over its debris. He said that after remaining for about a year and a few months in Ayodhya Mir Baqi had gone back.

It may be stated that Mir Baqi’s mazar is still there in a village near Ayodhya. Mir Baqi also demolished the temple built by Gaharwal dynasty. He said that Babar had first come to India in 1519 and had attacked India 5 times and in 6th attack he had defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi in Punjab which is now in Pakistan. He said that one of the reasons for Babar’s attack on India was that his forefather, Taimur Lung had ruled over Delhi. He further said that in accordance with his policy Babar demolished temples in India so that Islamic rule could be established in India.

Rectifying his earlier statement, he said that Sayed Salar Masood Ghazi of Bahraich was not Mahmood Ghaznavi’s nephew but his sister’s son. Mahmood Ghaznavi had demolished Somnath Temple and many years later Sayed Salar Masood Ghazi had demolished Ayodhya’s temple. He said that these rulers did not build any new building after demolishing the temples. With this, his cross examination by Nirmohi Akhara’s lawyer come to an end. (Rashtriya Sahara, April 13, 2005)

One more claimant of Babri land

Lucknow: One more claimant of Babri Masjid land has appeared on the scene. He is Shivinder Pratap Shahi, manager of Shri Rajeswari Sita Ram Trust of Sultanpur who has filed a writ in Faizabad court in which he has made Union of India, state of UP, district magistrate of Faizabad, Nirmohi Akhara, Sunni Central Waqf Board, BJP president L.K. Advani and a few more as a party. In his petition he has claimed that he is an heir of king Prithvi Raj Chauhan and therefore he is the rightful owner of this land which should be given to him.

The court admitted his petition and thereafter issued notices to Union government, BJP president Advani, VHP leader Ashok Singhal and some other people and bodies whom Pratap Shahi had named as parties. Shahi says that some people are playing politics in the name of Babri Masjid Ram-Mandir dispute. He further said that acquisition of the disputed land by government in its custody is also wrong because it is clear from some documents that it is his land in proof of which he had submitted certain documents in 1998.

He says that there are approximately 2000 acres of land in the custody of his Trust, on 100 acres of which he wants to build a Ram Mandir, a mosque, an engineering college and one medical college.

He says that according to Nicholas Gazetteer, some people of Prithvi Raj family had embraced Islam during the period of Moghul emperor Babar and hence Muslims are their brothers. (Rashtriya Sahara, April 23, 2005)

Building of Ram Mandir beyond the power of BJP 

Ayodhya: Officiating President of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust and Mahant of Mani Ram Das Cantt, Naritya Gopal Das, while repeating the resolve of building of Ram Mandir said that the most important event in the Ram Mandir movement took place during the prime ministership of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru when Ram Lalla ‘appeared’ here. He said this while addressing a meeting after garlanding a life size picture of former president of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, Param Hans Ram Chandra Das. He said that it is beyond the power and capability of BJP to build the Ram Mandir and accused BJP of forgetting Ram after coming to power and that is why it was voted out of power. 

Addressing BJP’s former state president Vinay Katiyar personally, who was also present in this meeting he said that an active leader like him is badly needed for leading the Ram Mandir movement and advised him to materialise the dream of Param Hans Ram Chandra Das. He also advised him not to run after power because governments come and go and added that we sadhus will support him (Katiyar) and others as nation’s lathi. He said that even otherwise the ‘dhancha’ itself is a sort of temple because prayers and worship are taking place there and added that when the stones are being carved, sooner or later the temple will be built and it wont take much time.

Speaking on this occasion, Vinay Katiyar shed detailed light on the history of Ram Mandir movement and said that Param Hans Ram Chandra Das had given the task of leading the Ram Mandir movement and building it in Ayodhya to VHP. He said that whether he is in power not, he will always be active in this movement. (Rashtriya Sahara, April 13, 2005)

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