The All India Babri Masjid Committee is working on a petition, during the lockdown, to approach Supreme Court to get the ‘remaining debris and stone artifacts’ lying at the site since the demolition of the mosque on 6 December 1992.
The committee decided to approach court after a letter written by its convenor, Zafaryab Jilani, to the Ram Mandir trust did not get a response. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said there is no debris there and the committee ought to move on while Jilani claims to have seen the debris himself.
The Quint spoke to VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain, successor to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Mahant Kamal Nayan Das and Ram Mandir trust general secretary Champat Rai about the All India Babri Masjid Committee’s letter to accept their request ‘in good faith.’
All India Babri Masjid Committee‘s Letter to Ram Mandir Trust
Jilani addressed the letter to Supreme Court lawyer K Parasaran, who was named the initial head of the trust. A day after the letter was written, which is 19 February, the trust had its first meeting where the head of the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, and VHP International Vice President Champat Rai were named head and general secretary respectively.
The operative part of the letter reads: The remaining debris and stone artifacts, etc lying at the site of the Babri Masjid after the demotion of he mosque on 6 December 1992 are likely to be removed from the site on the commencement of the leveling of the site for the construction of the Temple.
The Muslims apprehend that the said debris, stone artifacts etc will be thrown away. This may not be of significance to Hindus but means a lot the Muslim community and would hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community who request that these be handed over to the Muslim community.
Asking them to accept their request, the letter also stated, “If it is felt that we must approach the Supreme Court for directions in this regard, we will do so; but if this can be worked out amongst us for the peace of all who comprise this great nation, it would be for the betterment of all”.
Ram Mandir Trusts’ Champat Rai
Speaking about the remains being there or not Champati Rai told The Quint, “Kaun jaane, 28 saal baad kaun jaane? (Who knows, who knows after 28 years?).”
Regarding the letter that the Trust has not responded to, Rai said, “Everyone has the right to do whatever they want in a democracy. There is complete freedom. I however do not think about these issues. Till the time the case was in court, we concentrated on it, the topic is over for us. We are concentrating ahead.”
‘There is No Debris Left’
Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, who is senior member of the VHP-formed Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas and successor to Nritya Gopal Das who is the chief of the Nyas as well as the Trust, said,“Aisa hai 1992 mein, Ram Bhakto ne jab usse giraya, jo kuch bhi tha vo Ram bhakto ne Ram janmabhoomi ke prasad ke roop mein apne saath rakh liya. Kisi ne kuch choda nahi vahaan. (So what happened was, that in 1992, when Ram devotees brought the structure down they took with them whatever was broken as a Holy offering for themselves from Ram’s birthplace. Nobody left anything there)
When asked if he knows of these Ram Bhakts, he said, “They are scattered all across the country. How would one know? But whatever was broken down was taken back as an offering for the work they did.”
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said there was no point of talking about the remains of anything, “It was never a mosque at all. It was a structure that was demolished, not a mosque.”
Speaking about the letter, Jain said, “The letter was written but never pursued by the All India Babri Masjid Committee, as they know there is no weight in the issue. In 1992 the structure was broken and after that no remains of the structure exist anymore. I think with the breaking of the structure, the memories of Babur should also leave the minds of these Muslims. This is in their benefit.”
I’ve Seen Debris at The Babri Masjid: Jilani
Jilani however countered this and said that in 2003 when he went into the Babri Masjid he saw eight to 10 feet of debris and artifacts inside. “I went into the compound when the Archaeological Survey of India conducted its excavation of 2003. I saw debris from the structure that was broken in 1992. I have see it and is about eight to ten feet of it which is lying on the ground.”
Reacting to the views of VHP, the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas and Ram Mandir trust, Jilani said, “If not for the lockdown we would have already approached Supreme Court. Let them say what they are saying, legal arguments are not based on these opinions. If the court denies it, we will deal with it. We have also dealt with the demolition of the Babri Masid in 1992 anyway.”
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