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The first armed conflict in Ayodhya Site

Srijan Foundation organised a talk on Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue, kicking of a series of talks and interviews on this topic at INTACH, Lodhi Estate. The speaker, Dr. Meenakshi Jain is Ph.D from Delhi Univeristy. She specialises in Cultural Studies. She is presently a member of the Governing Council, ICHR. Here, in this article, he describe the first armed conflict in Ayodhya Site.

It is very fortunate that, in the case of Ayodhya, the details of the dispute is recorded in the Faizabad district court since 1822. A note was submitted in the court, by a court official named Hafizullah. It states that the Babri Masjid was built after destroying the Ram temple and it is built next to Sita ki Rasoi. This note reaffirms the existence of both Ram temple and Sita ki Rasoi.

In 1855, prior to the Revolt of 1857, the British Resident, wrote a letter to the Nawaab of Awadh, who was still in power, then. In the letter Resident mentioned that, a Sunni leader named Gulam Hussain, has gathered force and is plotting to attack the Hanuman Garhi. Ghulam Hussain and team claims that there was a mosque inside the Hanuman Garhi and so they want the control of the place. The Resident requested the Nawaab to send some reinforcement to stop Gulam Hussain from the attack. But Nawaab did not do anything and then a small fight erupted there. Following this, in July a more serious skirmish took place as Gulam Hussain and his troops attack the Hanuman Garhi, resulting in counter attack by the Hindus, which claimed the lives of 70 Muslims.

After this, the British Resident send two bonds, to the Nawaab of Awadh, the bonds were secured by the Resident from Bairagis, who control the Hanuman Garhi. In the first bond the Bairagis say that they have no enmity towards the Muslims and in spite of the attack on them, they would continue to behave in the same harmonious manner as they used to be in the past. In the second bond they showed their willingness towards an independent enquiry, on the existence of the Masjid inside the hanuman Garhi. They agreed to hand over the whole premise, without any fight, if the enquiry shows that there was a Masjid inside Hanuman Garhi. They validate their argument by stating that the land was given to them, by the ancestors of the Nawaab of Awadh and if there was a Masjid over the place, it would have been never given to them. They also attached copies of the order of the previous Nawaabs.

This puts the Nawaab of Awadh in dilemma and he put forward a compromise settlement, which is to build a Masjid next to the Hanuman Garhi. However this was not acceptable for the Bairagis, and an independent committee was setup, which also comes to the conclusion that, there had never been a Masjid in the Hanuman Garhi. In the wake of this new report, the Jihadis were angered and Jihadi forces headed by a new leader, Amir Ali comes to the fore. He gathers a large force to attack the Hanuman Garhi. The British try to stop and reason with him, to which he doesn’t comply. So, before he could attack Ayodhya, he was killed by the British. This marks the first armed conflict in the city of Ayodhya, recorded in the year 1855.

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