Five years on, Ayodhya assailants remain unknown

Ayodhya: This Ayodhya attack should not be mixed up with the one which took place 18 years ago when the Babri Masjid was demolished by Karsevaks who, by their act, had blackened the face of the country and had lowered the heads of the most tolerant Hindu nation in shame. The attack we are talking about took place on 5 July 2005. Its accused are known but its real criminals remain unknown.

On 5 July 2005, five youngmen hired a jeep at Faizabad Bus Stand and asked the driver to take them on a sightseeing trip of Ayodhya and then proceed to Lucknow. On reaching a particular place in Ayodhya, this driver was asked at pistol point to get down and after that the travellers bumped the jeep against the iron bars at the disputed place and threw a hand grenade at the police force posted there for the security of Ram Lalla. Within seconds the security guards shot down the attackers. When media people reached the place, they saw six bodies at different places nearby whom police jawans proudly described as dead bodies of the terrorists. When effort was made to identify the attackers by opening the zips of their pants, the case became 5+1 because one body was different from others. Next day it came to be known that the sixth man was Ramesh Panday who was a guide at Ayodhya. The question then arose: what the guide was doing in the company of “terrorists”? Was it he who had guided the attackers to the location in Ayodhya? Was Ramesh Panday not associated with terrorists in any way?

Instead of making enquiries about all these questions, people began to visit his residence for offering condolence and with the efforts and recommendations of political leaders, a compensation of Rs one lakh was offered to his family members. On the other hand, the other five who were killed were described as “Muslim terrorists” who were buried in a graveyard of Faizabad.

In this filmi style story, police quickly fabricated a story and presented it as a spicy film script. A few days after this attack, five Muslims were arrested from Delhi and Kashmir for having links with the Ayodhya attackers and assisting them. These alleged helpers are still in jail.

There was a news a few months ago that police has killed the mastermind of Ayodhya attack, a Qari. The weakest aspect or point of this story is that police has so far failed in finding out the names and addresses of the five terrorists who played the central role in the 5 July attack. A representative of ‘Taaqat’ newspaper had once tried to find out from a senior police officer the names of the attackers of Ayodhya but he could not tell their names.

There is some reason or the other behind every incident. There never was any discussion on the objectives of Ayodhya attack. If really Muslim terrorists were behind the Ayodhya attack, what they would have gained by harming Ram Lalla, knowing very well that even if there was slightest damage to Ram Lalla’s idol, there will be a blood bath of Muslims throughout the country. Obviously, why should a Muslim or Muslims dare take such a suicidal step?

There are people who wanted to sow the seeds of hatred and enmity between Hindus and Muslims by demolishing the Babri Masjid. Can’t those very people or people of their ilk do this abominable and mean act of targeting Ram Lalla? It is a pertinent question especially now that Hindutva terror is unravelling. A reply to this question is long over due. Similarly, a reply to another question is also needed: everybody knows the names of the five accused persons (their names were divulged byt the police) who are rightly or wrongly lodged in jail and that police has named the mastermind also, but why the names of the actual five terrorists, who had tried to storm the makeshift Ram Lalla temple at Babri site in Ayodhya and shaken the whole of Ayodhya, were not highlighted by the police (who always do so when alleged terrorists are Muslims)? Who were they, from where they had come and at whose behest? In that Ayodhya attack neither Ram Lalla was harmed in any way nor the people of Ayodhya were touched in the least. It was Muslims only who were greatly harmed and yet another stigma was etched on their forehead.