One end of Jantar Mantar, where the members of Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena had congregated, was painted saffron, while the other end, where Popular Front of India members were gathered, was green. Adding a splash of red were the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) members, who sat in protest demanding an “effective law against communal violence”.
Barely 50 meters from each other, the groups recalled the events of December 6, 1992, in their own way.
While some raised slogans in the name of Ram, others called out to their community and, some, the judiciary.
Members of the Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, led by party chief Jai Bhagwan Goyal, marched to the Parliament Street police station pushing through security barricades.
Referring to the September 30, 2010, judgment of the Allahabad High Court for a three-way division of the disputed site — which was later stayed by the Supreme Court on May 9, 2011 — Goyal said: “It has been established that the site is the birthplace of Shri Ram, then why hasn’t the whole area been allotted to us, the Hindus?”
Goyal said his party was not in favour of a “new Babri Masjid” in Ayodhya or anywhere else in the country. “The Centre should not test the patience of the Hindus,” he said.
A few meters away, members of the Popular Front of India said, “We are going to restore Babri Masjid on the very spot where it was demolished.”
Close by, activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) demanded an “effective law against communal violence”.
The two groups found some common ground. Both chorused that the perpetrators of December 6 be brought to book.
Addressing the dharna, Sanjay Sharma Delhi, State Secretary of the CPI(M-L), said the UPA government and Parliament must draft and pass a law that will hold governments, police and administrative machinery accountable if they failed to prevent communal and targeted violence.
Forty-year-old Munni Devi, who joined others in the march for the mandir, said she had never visited the “Ram Janmabhumi”. However, she echoed the cry of her fellow marchers: “Kasam Ram ki khate hain, mandir wahin banayienge,” (I swear in the name of Ram, we will build the temple there (masjid site).”
JNUSU Joint Secretary Piyush Raj said in almost all instances of communal violence, police had colluded with the perpetrators, acted as an extension of the mob and reneged on their duty to protect the vulnerable.
VKS Gautam, Delhi President of AICCTU, said, when the UPA-I government came to power in 2004, it promised to pass a law to curb communal violence. However, both UPA-I and UPA-II have failed to to do this. Santosh Roy, secretary of AICCTU, said the government succumbed to pressure from communal forces led by the BJP, who are opposed to such a law.