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Published in the 16-30 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Babri Masjid round-up

"Ram Janmasthan Mandir in the north of Babri Masjid"

The Milli Gazette Online 

Lucknow: Ramesh Chand Tirpathi, witness of the opposite party said in reply to questions by Tarunjeet Varma, lawyer of Nirmohi Akhara that Kanak Bhawan in Ayodhya was first of all built by Bhagwan Krishn in which idols were placed. He said before the special commissioner Hari Shankar Dubey that Kalidas belonged to the period of King Vikramaditya who got repaired many old temples including Ram Mandir and also built new ones in Ayodhya but there is no historical proof of this. He said that Ram Mandir Chabutara measured 17’x21’x4’ and there were Ram’s idols in the mosqu as well as Ram Chabutara and prayers were offered at both places. He said that the hill-locks in Ayodhya were named Nal, Neel and Angad who were military commanders of Sri Lanka and had come to India along with Ram. He described the graveyard near Babri Masjid as samadhis of saints. He added that during Babar’s period no body could capture this temple.

Continuing his deposition next day ie on 13 May he said that by mere sight it did not give any indication that this is Babri Masjid. In reply to questions by Abdul Mannan on behalf of Jamiatul Ulama and Muslim parties he said that he is a retired employee of the army and had no connection whatsoever with VHP. In 1969 when he came to know that some case is going on about Bhagwan Ram, he became a party to this case. About Babri Masjid he said that he does not call it Babri Masjid but Mandir.

He admitted that in addition to Hindus, many other people belonging to other religions also live in Ayodhya and this city is a holy place for people following different religions and added that there are places of religious worship of Jains, Budhists and Sikhs. He further said that he has seen mosques at various places in India and there are minarets in all mosques but since there is no minaret in Babri Masjid, it cannot be a mosque.

Continuing his deposition on the third day he said in reply to questions by Zafaryab Jilani that the site where Rani Kaushalya Bhawan is at present is not where it was originaly in Raja Dashrath’s time. Moreover, he said, Sumitra Bhawan also is not at its original place. He also said that even before 22 December, 1949 there was a small idol inside Babri Masjid and then another idol was placed on 23 December 1949. He said that between 1946 and 1949, he had darshan of the smaller idol 6 or 7 time in the mosque.

He went on and said that on 23 December 1949 these idols were placed on a singhasan and were there at the same spot till 1986 when the locks of the mosque were opened. In a further statement he admitted, contrary to the statements of other witnesses, that an old Ram Janmasthan Mandir is there in the north of Babri Masjid but he could not say whether Ram’s idol is there in this temple or not because he never went inside this temple. He however admitted that in this old temple there is a Sita Rasoee temple.

In reply to another question he said that Ram was born 9 lakh years ago but nothing of those times is available now. In reply to Jilani’s question that you remember things as far back as 1946 to 1949 but you do not remember events of 2003. Why? He said that firstly his memory becomes weak at noon and secondly he has become old now. (Rashtriya Sahara Urdu daily, May 13, 2005)

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