Hindus continued to asset rights to pray inside 3 doomed structure: SC
New Delhi, Nov 09: The Hindu worship at Ramchabutra, Sita Rasoi and at other religious places including the setting up of a Bhandar clearly indicated their open, exclusive and unimpeded possession of the outer courtyard, the Supreme Court held.
The Muslims have not been in possession of the outer courtyard. Despite the construction of the wall in 1858 by the British and the setting up of the Ramchabutra in close-proximity of the inner dome, Hindus continued to assert their right to pray inside the three-domed structure.
In or about 1877, at the behest of the Hindus, another door to the outer courtyard was allowed to be opened by the administration on the northern side (Sing Dwar), in addition to the existing door on the east (Hanumat Dwar). The Deputy Commissioner declined to entertain a complaint against the opening made in the wall. The Commissioner while dismissing the appeal held that the opening up of the door was in public interest. The opening of an additional door with the permission of the British administration indicates recognition of the presence of a large congregation of Hindu devotees necessitating additional access to the site in the interest of public peace and safety;
Testimonies of both Hindu and Muslim witnesses indicate that on religious occasions and festivals such as Ram Navami, Sawan Jhoola, Kartik Poornima, Parikrama Mela and Ram Vivah, large congregations of Hindu devotees visited the disputed premises for darshan.
The oral testimony of the Hindu devotees establishes the pattern of worship and prayer at Sita Rasoi, Ramchabutra and towards the Garb Grih', while standing at the railing of the structure of the brick wall.
Hindu witnesses have indicated that Hindus used to offer prayer to the Kasauti stone pillars placed inside the mosque. Muslim witnesses have acknowledged the presence of symbols of Hindu religious significance both inside and outside the mosque. Among them, is the depiction of Varah, Jai-Vijay and Garud outside the three domed structure. They are suggestive not merely of the existence of the faith and belief but of actual worship down the centuries;
There can no denying the existence of the structure of the mosque since its construction in the sixteenth century with the inscription of Allah' on the structure. The genesis of the communal incident of 1856-7 lies in the contestation between the two communities over worship. The setting up of the railing in 1856- 911 was an attempt by the administration to provide a measure of bifurcation to observe religious worship - namaz by the Muslims inside the railing within the domed structure of the mosque and worship by the Hindus outside the railing. Attempts by the Sikhs or faqirs to enter into the mosque and set up religious symbols for puja were resisted by the Muslims, resulting in the administration evicting the occupier.