10/18/2013, 00.00

1200 Hindu extremists arrested over plans for illegal demonstration in Ayodhya

The police deployed 2 thousand agents in the area where the Babri Masjid ( mosque of Babar ) once stood, whose destruction 21 years ago sparked bloody clashes between Hindus and Muslims across India . The extremist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP ) today convoked an unauthorized demonstration to demand the reconstruction of the temple of Ram.

Lucknow ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 1,200 Hindu extremists have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh to prevent the holding of Sankalp Diwas , the demonstration called by the ultra-nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP ) in Ayodhya for today, but not authorized by the government. The objective of the demonstration is to demand the reconstruction of the Ram temple on a land disputed for centuries by Hindus and Muslims. On 6 December 1992, about 150 thousand Hindu extremists of Sangh Parivar razed the mosque of Babar ( Babri Masjid ) sparking violent clashes across the country , which killed more than 2 thousand people , mostly Muslims.

Most of the arrests took place yesterday in Ayodhya , where police arrested 340 people, including the spokesman of the VHP and former member of parliament of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP , Hindu radical party ) Lalu Singh. To prevent militants reaching the area , the police deployed 2 thousand Rapid Action Force ( RFA) agents, specialized in counter-terrorism unit .

The Babri Masjid story has become the political emblem of extremist Hindu nationalists. Built in 1528 in Ayodhya , which Indian tradition considers the birthplace of Ram ( incarnation of the god Vishnu ), it has for centuries been the center of disputes between Muslims and Hindus. The latter claimed that the mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple.

After several attempts to raze it, on December 6 , the Sangh Parivar activists, summoned to Ayodhya for a symbolic ceremony to start the construction site of the Hindu temple, railed against the mosque by breaking down the three domes in less than three hours. The police, deployed in contingents along with paramilitary forces, failed to intervene. During the night a small Hindu temple was built on the ruins of the Babri Masjid.

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the area be divided into three parts between Hindus and Muslims.


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