Hundreds gather in capital to mark 26 years of demolition of historic Babri Mosque

Protest held in India on mosque demolition anniversary

By Ahmad Adil

CHANDIGARH, India

Hundreds of protesters gathered in capital New Delhi on Thursday to observe the 26th anniversary of the demolition of a 16th-century mosque.

Activists of the Social Democratic Party of India raised slogans such as “Regain Babri Mosque, Regain India” at the Jantar Mantar monument.

In December 1992, hardline Hindu groups destroyed the Babri Mosque — named after Mughal emperor Babur — in the northern Uttar Pradesh state, claiming it was the birthplace of their god Ram.

The incident sparked nationwide protests and communal violence that left 2,000 people dead.

Speakers at the demonstration said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will play the “dirty card of communal polarisation once again” in assembly elections in some states and general elections next year.

“The Hindutva masterminds have come to the conclusion that the only way to divert the attention of the masses from their sufferings and to continue in power for another term is to consolidate the Hindu religious sentiments,” said a statement issued by the party.

The party condemned the state for failing in protecting the mosque and their ideals and values.

“In the aftermath of the incident, Muslims were assured that the demolished Masjid would be reconstructed on the same site,” the statement added.