Still facing trial in Babri demolition case, VHP’s international secretary Champat Rai says Hindu organisations worked meticulously to establish Ram temple in Ayodhya.
New Delhi: A nondescript lane in Sector 6 of south Delhi’s R.K. Puram leads to a pink and pale yellow-coloured residential-cum-office complex. The building is the headquarters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) that was at the forefront of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Just near the entrance, there is the office of VHP’s international secretary Champat Rai, one of the main accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
“It was in 1983 that the VHP took cognisance of the Ram Mandir dispute that was going on since 1528. Then we took it upon ourselves to ensure that the site will have Ram Mandir,” Rai told ThePrint.
He was one of the key VHP members who had been working on a strategy to establish the Ram mandir in Ayodhya.
Rai said that a few followers of the VHP had even bought land near the structure. However, they could not begin any construction since the matter became sub-judice.
In 1989, VHP and BJP workers took possession of the land and established, what they called Ram Darbar.
Rai, who is still facing trial in a special CBI court in Lucknow, is keeping a low profile now. He used to be a zonal organising secretary of the VHP when frenzied ‘kar sewaks’ razed the 16th century mosque.
According to the CBI chargesheet, Rai and 37 others “entered into a criminal conspiracy… (with an) objective of liberating three temples in Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura”.
“It’s a historical fact that invaders attacked Hindu temples and demolished them. No one should refute this fact. The list includes Banaras, Somnath, Ayodhya and Mathura,” Rai claimed.
Rai said kar sewaks started gathering at the disputed site from 25 November onwards. “In three days, they ran out of food. People started sending food packets from far off places. Thousands of food packets started pouring in from Gorakhpur and Banaras,” Rai recalled.
“Everyone was waiting for the high court decision so that they can start construction of the temple. However, the delay in the court order angered the mob. It was then that the Narasimha Rao government sent paramilitary forces to Ayodhya,” added Rai.
The VHP apparently wanted the kar sewaks to return peacefully after offering soil collected from the Sarayu river at the disputed site. However, they did not move from the site until evening.
On 6 December, senior leaders addressed kar sewaks from the stage erected at the Ramkatha Park, asking them to help build a Ram temple. Rai, however, rubbished talk of the mosque being demolished by bombs, calling them lies.
“The structure was hollow and people tore it down with their own hands. This is called kar sewa (selfless service),” said the VHP leader.
He also denied that there was some planning and volunteers were given training prior to the demolition. He accused the media of spreading lies.
“There are still 18 mosques in Ayodhya because no one had touched them at that time,” Rai said.