Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
On 30 October and 2 November in 1990, 16 kar sevaks were shot and killed in Ayodhya. As the issue of Ram Mandir hits the limelight again, The Quint spoke to the family members of these deceased kar sevaks. Miffed with the politics, these family members are eagerly waiting for the Ram temple to be built, so that the deaths of their loved ones amount to something.
“I know how we were brought up. I lost a brother and a sister. Only I know how my mother struggled to bring us up. We got no aid. We somehow managed on our own.”Seema Gupta, daughter of deceased kar sevaks Vasudev Gupta
The kar sevaks of Ayodhya have always played a crucial role in the issue of the Ram temple. The families of the slain kar sevaks also wish to see the temple built, and are displeased with the politics over Lord Ram, especially around the time for election.
“Despite the politics, we want Ram Mandir to be built. We are trying hard for it. All questions lead to one truth. We want Ram Mandir so that my father’s sacrifice does not go to waste.”Subhash Pandey, son of deceased kar sevak Ramesh Pandey
“If Ram Mandir is not built during the BJP regime, we are sure it will never be built. If they fail to build Ram Mandir, they will never come to power again.”Ramsurat Goud, kar sevak
Two brothers from Kolkata had left their homes to be a part of the demonstration in Ayodhya in 1990. It is said that Ram Kothari, 23, and Sharad Kothari, 21, were the first ones to hoist the saffron flag on Babri Masjid.
The Kothari brothers were killed during the firing launched at the kar sevak’s demonstration on 2 November 1990.
“When I reached there, I wanted to see my children. I wanted to hug them. The kar sevak told me that I won’t be able to see their bodies. They had bullet injuries in their head.”Dualal Kothari, grandfather of deceased kar sevaks Ram and Sharad Kothari
Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when, on 30 October and 2 November 1990, kar sevaks tried to demolish Babri Masjid. To prevent that from happening, the UP police fired at the kar sevaks, which led to the death of the 16 people.