HomeIndia NewsWhat happened in the Kar Sewa of 1990?

What happened in the Kar Sewa of 1990?

Hemant Sharma
On the morning of 30 October 1990, Ayodhya was in the grip of fear and uncertainty. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had declared that even Parinda could not kill there. Curfew was imposed in Ayodhya for four days. There was no restriction on the darshan of Ram Janmabhoomi, but no one was allowed to go there. The kar sevaks were ready to do anything. There were two types of people in the crowd, one was those who had come for kar seva from thousands of kilometers. Secondly, those who used to come every year on Kartik Purnima for the fourteen kosi parikrama of Ayodhya, but they were also excited about the Karseva. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had given all the kar sevaks along with identity cards and maps of minor roads and trails.

RSS’s Saha Sarkaryavah Rajendra Singh alias Rajju Bhaiya was arrested in Lucknow. VHP president Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Mahant Avaidyanath, Swami Chinmayanand and Shankaracharya Vasudevananda were also caught on the way. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was arrested at Lucknow airport. LK Advani was already arrested in Bihar. But Ashok Singhal and Srishchandra Dixit, the main characters of the Karseva movement, did not get caught by the police. Singhal, defying the whole system, reached Ayodhya on 29 October. When Srishchandra Dixit was asked how he reached, he said, ‘If I tell, some people will lose their jobs.’ Dixit had been the Director General of UP Police. The security forces were fighting on two fronts. On one hand, a large number of kar sevaks were pressurizing them to enter the city. Secondly, those who had already entered the city were trying to go towards the birthplace.

Singhal had a stick on his head

When the first batch went towards Ram Janmabhoomi at 8.30 am, they were chased away by the police. These people came and sat in front of Hanumangarhi. The police said they were all being arrested, but there were no vehicles to carry so many prisoners. Meanwhile, the second batch arrived with Ashok Singhal. This group was stopped by the police with lathi charge. A stick fell on Singhal’s head. Even after bleeding from his head, he tried to move forward. But the police caught them and separated them from the group. A group of them started shouting slogans there. The other batches started leaving Hanumangarhi and the surrounding lanes at ten in the morning. The police started the process of arrest. Some sadhus were seated in the bus brought for the arrested people. The bus was about to leave, when a monk pushed the bus driver down. The monk hijacked the bus. Breaking three iron gates, this sadhu took the bus to a distance of 50 yards from the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.

About 100 sadhus were sitting up and down in this bus. This effort of the sadhus to break the iron gates and reach the birthplace increased the enthusiasm of others. The name of the monk was given as Ramprasad. He belonged to an akhara in Ayodhya. As soon as the bus left, the second group started running. By now the earlier sadhus had entered inside the premises. Meanwhile, the administration thought of making an appeal to Srishchandra Dixit and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das to pacify the kar sevaks. Dixit sought permission to appeal for himself and the Mahantji by standing on the mound inside the Ram Janmabhoomi. When the police opened the door for Dixit, a large number of kar sevaks entered the Ram Janmabhoomi complex along with him. The atmosphere got worse. Actually Dixit had signaled the kar sevaks to come inside. The kar sevaks started vandalizing inside the premises. After the karseva started in the campus, Shrishchandra Dixit said, ‘Lokshakti won’.

On the other hand, the pressure was increasing in the lane of Hanumangarhi as the news of Ashok Singhal’s injury spread and the number of kar sevaks increased. Despite the lathi-charge, around 12 o’clock in the day, around 40,000 kar sevaks had entered the Janmabhoomi area by breaking the outer circle of security and the iron gates. We had also followed them to the birthplace, but the cameraman could not come. Suddenly, three kar sevaks climbed the dome again. The domes were some 30 feet high. We were surprised to see their quickness to climb the dome and raise the flag. Each of the three domes were first pierced. Then by putting up the flag, these people got down hurriedly.

army in the evening

It was clear from the action taken so far that the government had completely failed in Ayodhya. There was a Kar Sewa of Ram Mandir. The flag was raised on the domes of the disputed structure. Dome wall, windows were broken. The kar sevaks had uprooted the bricks of the outer wall. Inside the sanctum sanctorum was also vandalized. But the state government and the chief minister denied that there was a kar seva and damage to the structure. The army was called at four o’clock in the evening, but the area was not handed over to them. The district administration was planning to get the Babri structure repaired and hand it over to the army. The administration had banned taking photos. The photo of the demolition in the building was not printed anywhere. Ashok Singhal had said in a statement, ‘I congratulate all the Rambhakts on the historic victory of Hindu society.’ After Singhal’s statement, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav gave a statement that no kar seva has taken place. There is no damage to the mosque. In Delhi, Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed also congratulated the Chief Minister for his handling of the delicate situation in Ayodhya. Violence against the incident across the country killed 35 people and imposed curfew in 30 cities.

(Excerpted from the book ‘War in Ayodhya’ by Hemant Sharma)

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.

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