Analysis

Ayodhya attack: When will the truth of 5 July come out?

By Manzar Mehdi

Faizabad:  It was on 5 July, 2005, when the disputed site of Ayodhya came in the headlines of Indian media. It was a typical terror attack in which no policeman lost his life, nor anyone from public was a casualty while all the five attackers were killed. We were told that they were buried in a graveyard of Faizabad. Every year an anniversary is observed on 5 July in the memory of that terrorist attack. Fearing more attacks, security arrangements are tightened further at the disputed site and a red-alert is sounded on that day. But, even after the lapse of 10 years, no police officer is in a position to tell us the names of those five “terrorists”, wherefrom they hailed, or how were they identified as “Muslims”, to be interned in a Muslim graveyard, instead of being cremated at a shamshan ghat.

I was in Lucknow on that day when one of my friends, Aqeel Ahmad, informed me on the phone that a terrorist attack has taken place in Faizabad and firing is in progress. He got this news from TV channels. On hearing this news, I couldn’t help rush back to Faizabad as soon as I could. Depositing the bag at my house, I at once rushed to Ayodhya. Everybody was terror-struck there, as five dead bodies could be seen scattered on the ground. On TV channels, there was news of six terrorists since morning. When one of them was not identified as a Muslim, the sixth one was identified as “Ramesh Pandey”, who was termed as a “guide” and his family received suitable compensation also.

As per the details of the incident, five people who came from Ambedkar Nagar, hired a Bolero geep from a bus stand for Lucknow. Its driver was one Raihan. The passengers wanted to visit Ayodhya first and then go to Lucknow. Near the site of shooting, Raihan was ordered to stop. The man sitting beside the driver ordered him to hand over his mobile and get down from the car. Raihan got down and ran towards the police at the nearest barricade. But, before Raihan could tell the details to the police, the jeep entered the disputed place, killing Ramesh Pandey on  the spot. We were later told that he was a “guide”.

None of the five youth had fired at the police or at the civilians. In the night, the district administration tried to bury the five “terrorists” in a graveyard, but the trustee of the graveyard refused, saying that “If they are terrorists, we cannot allow to bury them here and defile our graveyard”. Anyhow, the administration got them buried by force.

After many years, during a press conference, I asked the IG Zone A.K. Jain about the names of those “terrorists”. He could neither tell their names, nor the way they had been identified as “Muslims”.

The 5 July, 2005 “terrorist attack” still remains a mystery and, perhaps, will remain so for ever, and it is the singular case in which no arrests had been made. The two drivers who drove the terrorists from Ambedkar Nagar to Faizabad and from Faizabad to Ayodhya were kept in custody for a few days, but they were released afterward without any charge.  (Translated from Urdu)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2015 on page no. 11

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus