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Even if shots had been fired, the disputed structure at Ram Janmabhoomi was bound to be demolished that day: An eyewitness account of December 6, 1992

The court ruled that the sole grounds for bail were merely the admission of guilt in front of the media and the lack of hard evidence presented by the investigating authorities. Ramji Gupta has been visiting the courts regularly for decades.

The Pran Pratishtha (consecration ceremony) of Lord Ram Lalla was magnificently concluded on 22nd January 2024 at the recently constructed Ramjanmbhoomi temple in Ayodhya. Hindus celebrated Diwali across the country and the world at their respective places. This day is the result of the uncountable sacrifices made by Ram devotees over the course of 500 years of struggle.

While many of them have passed away, some are still alive and can recount the incident from firsthand memory. Ramji Gupta is one of those surviving followers of Lord Ram. He is the first karsevak to be held by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) following the contentious building’s demolition on 6th December 1992.

The OpIndia team present in Ayodhya met Ramji Gupta and obtained information about the circumstances both then and today. He is originally from Faizabad, which is presently in the Ambedkar Nagar district’s Tanda, an area populated primarily by Muslims. He joined the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) at a young age. Ramji Gupta once had a big handloom business in Tanda. His family is still counted among the prominent merchants of the town.

Yes, I was there during the demolition

Ramji Gupta is over seventy years of age and perfectly healthy. He told us that he had also been at the karseva in 1990. He witnessed the structure collapsing in front of his eyes on 6th December 1992. He asserted that the government and administration had to bow down to the passion of the karsevaks. Vishva Hindu Parishad had instructed Ram devotees to bring sand from Saryu and put it on the disputed structure. Meanwhile, many Ram devotees went ahead and brought the structure down.

Karsevaks did not listen to anyone

People were incensed at the 1990 slaughter of Ram bhakts at the hands of the government, according to Ramji Gupta. The administration then erected iron barricades around the disputed structure. A few karsevaks expressed their indignation at the contentious construction. Those who were there at the time became agitated as well.

Ramji Gupta maintained that Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries were unable to stop them despite their best efforts. The crowd’s rage also rendered the local law enforcement authorities helpless. He feels that it would have been nearly difficult for the contested structure to survive even if bullets had been fired on Karsevaks like 1990. However, Kalyan Singh, the chief minister at the time, flatly refused to give orders to shoot.

Couldn’t leave Lord Ram’s idol in the open

Nearly all of the Karsevaks had departed by the evening of 6th December 1992 after the structure was demolished, as per Ramji Gupta. The idol of Lord Ram was laid in the open and flanked by security personnel. Ramji Gupta and a few of his companions created a makeshift tent on the spot.

The idol of Lord Rama was placed in this tent under tight security beside a few local saints. The idol of Lord Ram was housed in this tent from 1992 till 2024. Late at night, Ramji Gupta and his friends left the idol and headed back to their houses. Kalyan Singh’s government collapsed in the interim. The Senior Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate of Faizabad (now Ayodhya) were held responsible and suspended.

CBI captured him and took him to Lucknow

Ramji Gupta revealed that a CBI team unexpectedly stormed his home in Tanda on 11th December 1992. This squad was accompanied by local law enforcement. He was asked to accompany them for questioning by the former. He was initially taken to the district headquarters in Faizabad. The team thereafter departed for Lucknow. He was interrogated comprehensively by numerous officials in Lucknow. “Lord Ram’s wish,” Ramji Gupta declared at this point. Ramji Gupta was ultimately sent to Lucknow District Jail.

High Court granted bail after a month

Ramji Gupta unveiled to us that he was set up by the CBI on the basis of a media story. He assumed responsibility for tearing down the controversial structure in a video. He kept worshipping God while incarcerated. Ramji Gupta had applied for his bail in the High Court. The High Court granted bail to him only after a month. The court ruled that the sole grounds for bail were merely the admission of guilt in front of the media and the lack of hard evidence presented by the investigating authorities. Ramji Gupta has been visiting the courts regularly for decades.

All the accused were acquitted in September 2020

The Lucknow CBI Court heard arguments regarding the contested structure for nearly 27 years. LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Vinay Katiyar, Kalyan Singh, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Champat Rai, Murali Manohar Joshi, Sakshi Maharaj, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh and Satish Pradhan were named as accused in the matter. A total of 32 people were mentioned as accused in the same case as Ramji Gupta.

In addition to him, Sakshi Maharaj and Brijbhushan Sharan Singh were also nabbed in this case. In September 2020, the CBI court in Lucknow exonerated all of them due to a dearth of proof. In the meantime, the court stated in its remarks that the contested structure’s demolition was not a planned event.

Loss of lakhs in business personally funded the lawsuit

Ramji Gupta divulged that the majority of the workforce in his factory were members of the Muslim community. Additionally, the majority of the small Muslim traders used to visit and purchase their goods. Several refused to pay their dues after he was arrested by the CBI in the contentious case involving the demolition of the structure.

The Muslim labourers likewise declined to work in addition to this. He recalled that in 1992–1993, his family suffered a commercial loss of about 50 lakh rupees. The family of Ramji Gupta covered every cost out of their wallet, including the trial, bail, and other charges.

He fought against fanaticism since childhood

Ramji Gupta remembers his early years. He mentioned that communal tension often erupted in the Tanda market since he was a teenager. There was an instance involving love jihad in the 1980s. Ramji Gupta had to step in to save the Hindus as the situation turned into a riot. Additionally, Ramji Gupta informed us that despite being 70 years old, he is still willing to sacrifice everything for his Dharma.

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राहुल पाण्डेय
राहुल पाण्डेय
धर्म और राष्ट्र की रक्षा को जीवन की प्राथमिकता मानते हुए पत्रकारिता के पथ पर अग्रसर एक प्रशिक्षु। सैनिक व किसान परिवार से संबंधित।

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