Ayodhya case: Idols installation inside Babri Masjid a ‘surreptitious attack’

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said the disputed land may have been a “composite place of worship”

Updated - September 04, 2019 06:55 am IST

Published - September 03, 2019 07:57 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A view of the Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi. File

The installation of Ayodhya idols inside the Babri Masjid in the intervening night of December 22-23 of 1949, which marked the beginning of heightened tensions and legal battle, was a “surreptitious attack”, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan claimed before a Constitution Bench on Wednesday.

The five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi heard Mr. Dhavan argue for the Muslim parties that the appearance of the idols inside the mosque was not a “miracle” but a “planned attack”.

He referred to documents, saying how then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had expressed grave concern about the incident.

Mr. Dhavan alleged that then Faizabad District Magistrate K.K.K. Nair and his fellow local official Guru Dutt Singh did not act to remove the idols despite instructions from then Chief Secretary Bhagwan Sahay and Inspector General of Police B.N. Lahiri.

In his submissions, Mr. Dhavan said inscriptions of the word “Allah” were seen inside the mosque at the arches.

Mr. Dhavan referred to records about aggression shown by the local populace towards worshippers coming to the mosque. He said the disputed land may have been a “composite place of worship”. He compared it to religious sites in Jerusalem like the “Wailing Wall”.

Referring to the Hindus' argument that the Ramjanmabhumi itself is a juristic person, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked if the Ayodhya deity is accepted as a juristic person, then the place of worship would not be just the exact spot where he is born (under the dome of mosque) but also places appurtenant to it.

Mr. Dhavan compared the December 22-23, 1949 incident with the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 by kar sevaks.

“This show can't go on, My Lords... No more rath yatras,” he said.

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