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10,000 black balloons released in Malegaon to protest Babri Masjid demolition
Saturday December 6, 2014 5:56 PM, Staff Reporter

Hundreds of protesters Saturday released over ten thousand black balloons into the air in Malegaon, the Muslim dominated city in North Maharashtra, to mark the 22nd anniversary of the historic Babri Masjid demolition by Hindu extremists.

Babri Masjid protest

The protesters, who were wearing skull caps and sporting black badges on their shoulders, were led by Lok Sangharsh Samiti. The Samiti had earlier announced that it would release the black balloons into the air from as many as 40 squares of the city.

"We are releasing the black balloons to express our protest and show anger on this day when the Babri Masjid was demolished twenty two years before", Salman Zia of the samiti said.

The balloons were tied with placards that read slogans seeking justice.

After releasing the black balloons into the air, they also called 'Azaan' at exactly 03:45 p.m. They shouted slogans and sought from the Indian government justice to build the demolished mosque on the same place.

Twenty-two years before on December 06, 1992, a violent mob of Hindu extremists, who were allegedly led by senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and now a union minister Uma Bharti, demolished the ancient mosque, famous as Babri Masjid, in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.

Peaceful protests are held in different parts of the country every year since then.

In a precautionary measure, the police had on Friday detained Ateeque Kamal, the patron of Lok Sangharsh Samiti. The move however was criticised by the activists.

"We are holding peaceful protests every year since December 06, 1993, and never created any law and order problem. Our protest this year is also peaceful. The police is denying us our democratic rights by arresting our leader", Saleem Ahmed, the President of Lok Sangharsh Samitit said.

Earlier the security was beefed up in the city and additional police personnel were deployed in different parts of the city. Police officials led by Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sunil Kadasane kept tight vigil to maintain peace in the entire city.

Heavy police deployment were also seen near Shahidon Ki Yadgaar, the venue where 'Azaans' are called every December 06 to mark the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary. This year however the protest could not be held here due to police security.

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