Allahabad District Court Proceedings on Ayodhya Case
Now, this is very interesting because every stage of the conflict and the context between the Mahants of the Janamsthaan and the superintendent of Babri Masjid is recorded in the Faizabad district court. All these papers are there and when the Ayodhya, when the Allahabad court was hearing this case then all these documents were handed over to the Allahabad high court. So, what is the first? The first is a report dated 28th November1858. This is an FIR which is filed by the thanedaar of Awadh. The thandeaar of Awadh files a report that 25 Sikhs, Nihang Sikhs, have entered Babri Masjid and they have started Hawan and puja over there.
Two days later, that is on 30th November 1858, the superintendent of Babri Masjid files a complaint. The same complaint. He says that 25 Sikhs have entered and that inside the Babri Masjid, they have started Hawan and puja, and with charcoal, Koyla, they have written ‘Ram Ram’ all over the walls of the Masjid. And he says that outside the Masjid but within the complex, Janamsthaan is there and the Hindus had been coming for such a long time and worshipping at the Janamsthaan. But now, they have entered the Masjid and they are worshipping over there also.
So, again the Allahabad High Court regarded this document as very important because it said, because the paper is still there na. The case that Thanedar filed is there and it was presented to the Allahabad high court. So, the Allahabad High Court said that, this is a very important document because it is the first individual voice that we are hearing from Ayodhya, and this voice is saying that the Hindus are inside the complex, inside the Masjid and it is saying that they were outside in any case. So, that means that at one point in time, Hindus had free run of Babri Masjid. After that, it is some weeks before the thanedaar is able to throw out the Sikhs from, inside the Babri Masjid.
I will just refer to some other cases which are very important. There is an application by the superintendent in 1860 and in this application he says that you know the Chabutra that has been constructed inside Babri Masjid should be demolished. He is asking the British; that means they were building whenever they wanted to built and then he says that, whenever the Maulvi gives the call for Namaaz, Azaan then the opposite style, they start blowing conch shells. So you can see the tensions and this is important to know because the left historians have said that the Hindu – Muslim tensions at Ayodhya were engineered by the British as part of their policy of divide and rule. But here, we are hearing the voices of the actual people involved, there is no British. It is a fight between the superintendents of Babri Masjid and the Mahants. So, he is saying that they start blowing the conch. That means, they were so conscious of the desire that we must have this place back. So, this is a way of expressing your voice, you cannot do anything more; so when they start the Azaan then you blow the conch, that’s probably you can do. Then in 1866, there is another complaint in which superintendent of Babri Masjid says that, these Mahants, they have constructed a kothri inside the complex in a very illegal manner and what is the intention of the kothri? Because they want to use the kothri because they want to put idols inside. So, he tells the British that you must please do something to help us, as it is, he says, we are able to continue over here only because of your help because we are all the time being harassed by the priests of the Janamsthaan.
Then in 1877, we have a complaint and this time the superintendent of Babri Masjid is saying that 5 years ago, we complained to you, British, that Charan Paduka, the footsteps , they have been put there illegally, please remove them and you have not done anything and he says, why you have not done anything? I can understand because you are not able to issue the summons to the Mahants of the Janamsthaan because whenever you are about to come, they go underground. So, they say that you know for 5 years this order has not been served on them and this worship is continuing and then he says that, now they have also added a chulha inside, inside the complex. So, they say that there was a small chulha but now they have made a big chulha. Now we have evidence of Chabutra, Kothri, this chulha. That means that there is a constant tussle, there is never any peace in that site and it shows how determined sections of the Hindu community were not to surrender their claims to that site and these are things you know which normally we don’t come to hear or know about in the discourse that is presented in the electronic media and the print media because all the evidence that we have is actually so much in favour of one party that it seems that, I sometimes feel that, how is there nothing for the other side. It’s all one sided because that’s the way it is.
Then in 1877, the Deputy Commissioner of Faizabad, he tells the court that I have constructed one other passage way because at the time of Ram Navami, the rush of pilgrims is so much that we need to have one extra gate to accommodate the rush of pilgrims. So, that means the Hindu community was also not willing to keep quiet or stay back. They were taking the risk and going to the premises and actually doing parikrama and worshipping over there. And the next complaint is very very interesting. It is dated 1882. Again it is the superintendent of Babri Masjid who is complaining to the British and what does he say? He says that at the time of Ram Navami and Kartik Mela, it is the practice that we allow shops to be set up inside the premises which will sell prasad, flowers etc. And the rule has been that whatever the sale is made, we will divide the thing 50-50 between the Mahants and the superintendent of the Babri Masjid but this time, he says that the Mahants have changed the ratio of the sharing of the proceeds and you please restore the old ratio. So, the Faizabad district court, they say that we cannot change the ratio because you have admitted that the whole complex is not yours, is not in your position and this also means that, during those days there was no Namaaz being offered because you cannot have, a Mela and celebrations of Ram’s birthday, that means there was no Namaaz on those days also. So, this is.
Then, in 1855, one of the Mahants of the Janamsthaan, he writes a letter to a British that this Ram Chabutra that I have, it measures 21 feet by 17 feet and he says that, there is no shed over it, it’s just open and in the summer, in the rainy season and in winter, me and my fellow Mahants, we face great difficulty because we are exposed to the weather all the time, imagine, but they don’t give up. So, he says that, can we construct a small temple on this area that is already in my position. This case, this appeal of the Mahants is heard by the three levels of the British Judiciary. All of them say that the Mahants has a very strong case, the area is in his position and he is exposed to the elements all the time. But they say that we cannot allow construction of anything in this area because it is a very sensitive issue and we cannot disturb the status quo; we realize the injury that was caused to the Hindu 350 years ago but there is nothing we can do.
Now, in 1885, an Amini, Amin commission was set up, and this commission showed that Sita Rasoi, Chabutra, Janamsthaan, Chappar were all situated in the boundary wall of the Babri Masjid. Just outside the boundary wall there was a deep depression all along the boundary wall; that was the depression of the footprints of pilgrims who had been coming all these centuries, so, parikrama; that means the entire complex was sacred land for the Hindus.
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