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Protests, celebrations mark 17th Anniversary of Babri Masjid


Monday, December 07, 2009 09:38:00 AM, & Agencies

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Malegaon: In a charged atmosphere in the wake of the Liberhan Commission's findings on the demolition of Babri Masjid, the 17th anniversary of the tragic incident was observed peacefully amid tight security in Ayodhya and other places in the country.


While Muslim NGOs and secular parties organised dharnas and protest rallies to demand action against the culprits indicted by Justice (Rtd.) Liberhan in his report, people having allegiance to the Saffron alliance celebrated the day as a day of victory.


Protests and Celebrations in National Capital

The 17th anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition saw both protests as well as celebratory marches by different groups in the capital Sunday.


Staging a protest at the Jantar Mantar near the central business hub of Delhi, members of the All India Babri Masjid Rebuilding Committee (AIBMRC) demanded that the mosque be rebuilt on the disputed site of Ayodhya.


They also submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil to put behind bars those named by the Liberhan Commission report.


On the other hand, celebrating the anniversary of the demolition, members of the little known Rashtrawadi Sena organised a "Vijay Divas" (victory day) march in east Delhi.


Said Bharat Lal Sharma, secretary of the group: "Our party chief Jai Bhagwan Goyal said this was a historic day which should be celebrated with pomp and show. He also added that since this year his name was mentioned in the Liberhan Commission report, it was an even bigger reason to celebrate."


Goyal was one of the 68 people mentioned in the report of the Liberhan Commission, which probed the 1992 Babri mosque demolition, as culpable for "leading the country to the brink of communal discord."


The report, which was tabled in parliament Nov 24, has indicted members of the Sangh Parivar for demolition of the 16th century mosque in Ayodhya. The vandalism and destruction had led to communal riots across the country.


Sahmat, a group of artists also held a discussion with journalists and photographers who were witnesses in the demolition along with historians to give their perspective Sunday. A photo exhibition "Hum Sab Ayodhya" was also organised.


'Punish the culprits and Rebuild the Mosque'

All India Babri Masjid Re-building Committee (AIBMRC) took out a demonstration demanding rebuilding of the mosque at its original site in Ayodhya.


AIBMRC President Mohammad Younus Siddiqui, in a memorandum to the President of India, urged her to refer “all the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple disputes to Supreme Court under Article 138-B of the constitution for a final, binding and time-bound decision. Siddiqui also urged her to direct the Central Government to arrest all the culprits responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid.”


Talking to media, Siddiqui demanded reconstruction of the mosque at the same place where it was and punishment to the Sangh, BJP leaders indicted in the Liberhan Commission Report.


The Liberhan Commission recently submitted the report which has also been tabled in the Parliament. “But there is no indication from the part of Government to penalize the criminals. But anybody who respects the rule of law and reign of justice could not forget Babri Masjid. The least act of justice the state can do is to bring the culprits to book,” PFI said.


Asked about the major demand of Secular Democratic Party of India (SDPI) on this 6th December, SDPI General Secretary A Sayeed, who was also attending the PFI dharna said: "We have a minimum demand to rebuild the mosque at the exact place where it was, and to punish whosoever held responsible for the demolition of the mosque.”


19-year-old Shaheen, secretary, Campus Front of India, while attending the dharna reiterated the same demand. Shaheen was just two when the mosque was demolished. He heard about the demolition in his childhood.


A funeral procession wherein the coffin of Secular India was being carried by the ghosts of RSS/BJP, Congress, Judiciary and Bureaucracy was taken out by drama group Nishant.


When the day got a little colder senior Muslim leaders including Syed Shahabuddin, Dr Zafrul Islam Khan, Dr Manzoor Alam, Shafi Munis and Ejaz Aslam sat down at the headquarters of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat to discuss the issue.


Addressing the gathering Syed Shahabuddin, Convenor Babri Masjid Coordination Committee, demanded ban on political parties that use religion to disturb communal harmony in the country. He stressed on making the Babri issue a political issue to put pressure on political parties and government for action against the Babri culprits.


'Ayodhya Peaceful'

Under categorical directions from the Union Home Ministry, Uttar Pradesh and other state governments beefed up security and Ayodhya-Faizabad area was converted into a virtual fortress. Ayodhya-Faizabad is the place where the 16th century mosque Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.


While the VHP observed the day as "Shourya Diwas (valour day)", Samajwadi Party marked it as "Kala Diwas (black day)".


All India Babri Masjid Action Committee has decided to organise special prayers for peace and harmony.


In Ayodhya, besides central forces, 500 personnel of PAC, 200 jawans of Rapid Action Force, three bomb detecting squads and anti-sabotage teams have been deployed, officials said.


'Peace prevailed in Hyderabad'

The anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition passed off peacefully here amid tight security, police said Sunday.


Police had sounded an alert here in view of the shutdown call given by some Muslim groups and the intelligence reports that three terror suspects on the run could launch attacks.


Police foiled an attempt by Darasgah Jihad-o-Shadat (DJS) to take out a rally. DJS president Sheikh Mahboob Ali and some of his followers were arrested at DJS office in the old city when they tried to take out a rally demanding re-construction of the demolished mosque at the same site.


Holding black flags and flames in their hands, the protestors raised slogans against the right-wing Hindu outfits. Police said the protestors were arrested as orders banning assembly of five or more persons were imposed in the city.


Black flags were hoisted atop several buildings and at cross-roads in the Muslim-majority old city as shops and business establishments remained closed in response to the call given by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) and some other groups. These groups observed the day as 'Black Day'.


Police has made tight security arrangements in view of the shutdown call, which also coincided with the 48-hour shutdown called by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) demanding separate state of Telangana.


MIM held a meeting in the city Saturday night demanding reconstruction of the demolished mosque. MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that the government take action against 68 persons named in the Liberhan Commission report for demolition of the mosque.






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