Ayodhya case: inscription on mosque slab spoke of Vishnu temple, Supreme Court told

Counsel for Ram Lalla says structure excavated by ASI below Babri Masjid was a temple

August 20, 2019 09:30 pm | Updated August 21, 2019 10:19 am 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

Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan for Ram Lalla, Ayodhya’s infant deity, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that a stone slab, which fell out of the western wall of the disputed Babri Masjid structure, had Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to the 12th century about a Lord Vishnu temple.

Appearing before a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Mr. Vaidyanathan said the slab and the inscriptions give credence to the version that the Babri mosque was built on the disputed land where a massive structure supported by several pillars once stood. He said it is believed by devotees that Lord Vishnu took human form as Rama.

‘Enough artefacts’

Mr. Vaidynathan said there are enough artefacts and materials to support the belief of devotees that Ram Janmabhoomi is the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The senior lawyer quoted a statement made by a journalist from the Panchaganya magazine to the court that he had seen the slab fall from the Western wall. The photographs of the spot where the slab fell and the inscriptions were shown to the High Court.

The structure excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India is the Vishnu temple. Despite the coming up of the disputed structure in the 16th century, the Hindus had continued to believe the land to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, he submitted.

Later, Mr. Vaidyanathan read out from the statements of a Muslim witness in the dispute, who said if the mosque was built after demolition of a temple, Muslims will not consider it a mosque. Mosques cannot be built on a forcibly occupied place.

The Supreme Court had last week asked the Hindu parties to present proof of their claim that Babri Masjid was built on the remains of an ancient temple or Hindu religious structure.

“Over the past two millennia we have seen civilisations settle and resettle on river banks. They have built upon pre-existing structures. But prove that the alleged ruins or demolished building (on which Babri Masjid was built) was religious in nature,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on the Bench, had asked.

Justice S.A. Bobde, also a part of the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Gogoi, had asked Mr. Vaidynathan to buttress his arguments that the structure was a temple, and that too, one dedicated to Lord Ram.

On pre-existing structure

Mr. Vaidyanathan had responded by referring to the Archaeological Survey of India excavation report that the structure found underground, dated back to second century BC, was massive in circumference with a large number of pillars endowed with sculptures, plastered walls and circular shrine. The Babri Masjid was not built on vacant or agricultural land, but on a pre-existent structure, which was at the time either in ruins or was demolished.

He had acknowledged that there was nothing to show that the structure was a temple dedicated to Lord Ram. But the unstinting faith and belief of the people and the “preponderance of probabilities” show that it was indeed a temple for Lord Ram, he said.

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