As per CNN News18, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has made a big announcement- a memorial for the ‘Ayodhya martyrs’ in a big tribute to the karsevaks who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of a grand temple at Bhagwan Ram’s birthplace in Ayodhya.
#BREAKING | U.P CM Yogi's big tribute to karsevaks, Announces Memorial for 'Ayodhya martyrs'
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 8, 2022
How karsevaks sacrificed their lives in 1990
1990 was the year when the Ram Mandir movement gathered momentum in the country.
The then BJP president LK Advani decided to lead a nationwide rath yatra and create sentiment in favour of a grand Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
However, opposing Advani’s rath yatra, the then UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had declared, “Let them try and enter Ayodhya. We will teach them the meaning of law. No masjid will be broken.”
LK Advani was arrested by the Lalu Prasad Yadav government in Bihar, and he couldn’t go to Ayodhya. Yet, a huge gathering of karsevaks (volunteers) got together in the holy city.
October 30- first incident of firing at karsevaks
On October 30- the “D-Day of the karseva”, a clash erupted between the karsevaks and the police. The karsevaks were trying to March towards the Babri Masjid and the clash erupted during this event.
The police had barricaded about a 1.5 km-long pathway to the Babri Masjid on October 30 morning. Anyhow, karsevaks marched towards the Masjid. By noon, police received orders of opening fires from Mulayam Singh Yadav, then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
The firing was followed by chaos and stampede. And the karsevaks were chased down by the police in the streets of Lord Ram’s birthplace Ayodhya.
November 2- another incident of firing at karsevaks
On November 2, karsevaks decided that they will continue their march towards the Babri Masjid. But this time, they adopted a different strategy.
Karsevaks who also comprised of women and elderly people decided to touch the feet of the security personnel deployed for stopping them from marching ahead. This was supposed to take security personnel by surprise, and it was expected that the security personnel would step back.
However, the security personnel saw through the new strategy and when the karsevaks weren’t deterred, another round of firing took place against the karsevaks. So, there were two instances of firing at the karsevaks in a space of three days.
Many people died in the clashes. The official figures show 17 deaths, but BJP put the death toll much higher. While former Prime Minister, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee claimed that there were 56 deaths, Mulayam Singh Yadav put the death toll at 28.
Regardless of the death toll, the sacrifice of karsevaks remains a painful incident. Today, the construction of a grand Ram Mandir is underway, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifice of the karsevaks. There has been a longstanding demand to construct a memorial paying tribute to those who had lost their lives in the Ayodhya firing incident. And now UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is fulfilling it by announcing a memorial that will acknowledge the sacrifice of the Ayodhya karsevaks.