On September 30, after a special CBI court said that demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya city of Uttar Pradesh India, was “not pre-planned and ruled out the conspiracy theories” in which the Mughal era monument was razed to the ground by a mob of kar sevaks, the decision has refreshed the memories of Hindus in Pakistan.
According to a report by Turkey-based news organisation Anadolu Agency, On December 6, 1992, soon after the news of the demolition of the historic mosque spread, charged Muslim mobs, calling for revenge had attacked dozens of Hindu temples across Pakistan. Some 30 temples across Muslim-majority Pakistan were attacked, 25 of them across the southern province of Sindh, where 85% of the Hindus in Pakistan live.
However, all these temples have been either rebuilt or repaired in Pakistan in contrast to India, where also then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao had pledged to rebuild the Babri Mosque, in his televised address to the nation.
Quoting Surendar Valasi, a Hindi lawmaker belonging to center-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the report said that it was a “sad day” for all Pakistani Hindus.
“Instead of repairing the damage done to the Babri Masjid, they are building a Hindu temple, where the majority of Dalits [lower caste] won’t be allowed to enter for worship like elsewhere,” the report quoted Valasi as having said.
On Wednesday, a special CBI court said that demolition of the Babri Masjid was “not pre-planned and ruled out the conspiracy theories” in the December 1992 incident in which the Mughal era monument was razed to the ground by a mob of kar sevaks.
The CBI court has acquitted all the accused in the case, including the BJP veterans LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti, reports said.
While reading the verdict, CBI Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav said that there was no conspiracy in the act. 28 years after the demolition of Babri Masjid, the CBI court has acquitted all 32 accused in the case.
The court observed that the demolition was not pre-planned and evidence are not strong. While Sadhvi Ritambhara, Sakshi Maharaj, Vinay Katiyar and Champat Rai Bansal were present in court, three key accused BJP leaders skipped physical hearing, and attended through video-conferencing — Uma Bharti tested positive for coronavirus, LK Adavni and Murli Manohar Joshi have excused themselves on grounds of health and age.
If convicted, the veteran leaders inluding Advani, Joshi, Bharti, Katiyar, Ritambhara, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Bansal, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Dharmadas and Dr Satish Pradhan would face maximum imprisonment up to five years.
On the same day, the administration sounded a high alert in UP and police was in civvies to maintain the situation. Reports earlier said that 2,000 cops will be deployed at the building that houses the “Ayodhya Prakaran Court” in the Old High Court building in Lucknow’s Kaiserbagh.
In February this year, the Pakistan government handed over a 200-year old temple to the country’s Hindu minority.
Located in the remote Zhob district of the southwestern Balochistan province, the temple had been “illegally occupied” in 1947 following the partition of the Indian subcontinent, which prompted a large-scale migration between Pakistan and India. Hindus, the largest minority in Pakistan, make up 4% of the country’s more than 200 million population.
Pakistan is home to several sites revered by Hindus. The Katas Raj temple in the northeastern Chakwal district and Sadhu Bela temple in southern Sukkur district are the two most visited rites by Hindus across the world.
According to local media, the government plans to reclaim and restore 400 temples, which have been “illegally occupied by land grabbers”, to Hindus across the country.
According to the report, many experts find parallels between a Sikh place of worship Gurdwara in Lahore and Babri Mosque case in India.
Located in the heart of Pakistan’s second-largest Lahore city, Shahid Ganj Gurdwawa was a source of discord between the two communities.
Constructed by Kotwal (Chief Police Officer) of Lahore Abdullah Khan, during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653, Shahid Ganj was a mosque till 1799, till Sikh Army under Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured the city defeating Afghans. They converted it into a gurdwara and barred entry of Muslims, the report said.
In 1849, when the British took control of Lahore by defeating the Sikh Empire, Muslims pleaded for the return of the mosque and knocked on the court. But the court using the law of limitations, rejected the plea and questioned the delay of 51 years for claiming the mosque. The London-based Privy Council, the highest court of appeal during the British era also rejected Muslim claim on May 2, 1940.
The report added that law of limitations set by the British and then adopted by India in 1963, stipulates a maximum period of 12-30 years to claim immovable properties from adverse possession. Quoting lawyer Anubhav Pandey, the report said that this law intends that “controversies are restricted to a fixed period, lest they should become immortal, while men are mortal”.
In 1850-1935, Lahore and adjoining areas of Punjab province witnessed the worst communal riots, between Sikhs and Muslims on the Shahid Ganj. In 1935, the British Governor of Punjab, Sir Herbert Emerson suggested that the site be handed over to Archeology Department to be declared as a protected site, as a mid-way to settle claims. When the issue was being discussed, a Sikh mob in the dead of night demolished the structure, removing traces of a mosque, the report mentioned.
On the other hand, the Babri Mosque is said to have been built by an official of Mughal Emperor Babur in 1528. In 1885, a Hindu religious body filed a case in Faizabad court asking for permission to construct a temple to honour Ram on the premises of the Babri Mosque. The permission was denied.
In 1949, a group of Hindus entered the premises of the mosque and installed an idol of deity Lord Ram. Instead of removing the idol, the administration locked the mosque. However, an official and a Hindu priest were given the charge to look after the place.
In 1986, the district administration of Faizabad, under which Ayodhya city comes, opened the premises to Hindus, allowing them to carry out rituals, the agency reported.
The situation remained calm until December 1992, when thousands of activists belonging to extremist Hindu groups and political parties along with BJP leaders entered the Babri Mosque and demolished it.
The Indian Supreme Court in November last year handed over to a Hindu trust to build a temple on the Mosque site.
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