Protests, celebrations mark Babri demolition anniversary


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

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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.