Fresh initiative to recover missing Babri papers


Lucknow: Fresh directives have been issued by the State Home Department to search and retrieve the seven important documents related to the Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya reported missing from the Uttar Pradesh government records.

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Interestingly enough it has come to light that the search for the said missing papers has been going on for the last five years but without any success. According to informed sources, State officials have put in more than 1,000 hours for retrieving the documents.

The said documents related to the exchange of letters between the State government and the Faizabad district administration immediately after the idols of Lord Ram were installed by some persons in the disputed Babri Masjid complex on the night of December 22-23, 1949. Among the documents is a telegram sent by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant. Nehru had expressed his anger at the move and even volunteered to visit Lucknow and Faizabad, but was dissuaded by Mr. Pant.

Special Secretary (Home) R.P. Mishra told journalists here on Friday that the exercise to retrieve the documents was under way. The renewed initiative by the State follows the stern view taken on the subject by the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court, which had summoned Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta and Principal Secretary (Home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, during the course of a hearing in the case recently. The government was pulled up for failing to retrieve the documents even after five years.

The court directed the government to search the documents and produce them before it. The plea for producing the documents was made by the Sunni Waqf Board in 2002. In 2004, the High Court directed the government to submit the documents. The search for the documents has been continuing since 2004.A search was also conducted in the office of the Faizabad District Magistrate and the Commissioner of Faizabad Division.

When the idols were installed in the mosque complex, K.K. Nayyar was the District Magistrate of Faizabad. Mr. Nayyar reportedly declined to remove the figurines, with the plea that the administrative action would cause communal riots in Ayodhya and Faizabad. His wife, Shakuntala Nayyar, was thrice elected MP from Kaiserganj on Jana Sangh ticket.