2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya
On 5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the makeshift Ram temple at the site of destroyed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India. All five were shot dead in the ensuing gunfight with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), while one civilian died in the grenade attack that the terrorists launched in order to breach the cordoned wall. The CRPF suffered three casualties, two of whom were seriously injured with multiple gunshot wounds.
On 5 July 2005, the heavily guarded Shri Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, the site of the destroyed Mosque and, according to Hindus, the birthplace of God Shri Ram, at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state of India was attacked by heavily armed terrorists. The attack was foiled by security officials and the attackers were killed.
The terrorists are believed to be from the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba, and are believed to have entered India through Nepal. They posed as pilgrims to Ayodhya and boarded a Tata Sumo at Akbarpur near the Kichaucha village in Faizabad. At Faizabad they abandoned the Sumo and hired a jeep driven by a driver, Rehan Alam Amsari. According to a statement by the driver, the terrorists visited the Shri Ram Mandir (Temple) at Ayodhya where they prayed, possibly to reinforce the impression that they were indeed pilgrims. The terrorists then drove the jeep into the Shri Ram Janambhoomi and forced the driver out of the vehicle, banging the jeep against the security cordon. At 9:05 am, they hurled M67 hand grenades from 50 metres away to breach the cordon fence. Ramesh Pandey, a pilgrim guide who happened to be near the site at this moment, 50 m away from the terrorists, died on the spot as a result of the grenade blast. Firing indiscriminately, the 5 terrorists entered Mata Sita Rasoi. Returning the gunfire, a platoon of 35 CRPF soldiers killed all five of the terrorists in a gunfight that lasted for over an hour. Three CRPF soldiers also received serious injuries and, as of July 2008, two remain comatose. All the terrorists died within 100 meters of the site.
It is suspected that the terrorists belonged to the group Lashkar-e-Toiba. The investigating team is tracking the phone calls made from the cell phones using the IMEI numbers. The Police recovered a single RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, five Type 56 assault rifles, five M1911 pistols, several M67 grenades and some jihadi documents.
Rehan Alam, the jeep driver, was detained by the police for further investigations.
On 28 July 2005, four men from Jammu and Kashmir– Akbar Hussain, Lal Mohammad, Mohmmad Naseer and Mohmmad Rafeeq– were arrested in connection with the attack. On 3 August 2005, another four men– Asif Iqbal, Mohd Aziz, Mohd Nasim and Shaqeel Ahmed– were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing. A fifth man, Irfan Khan, was arrested a few days earlier.
Most of India's political organizations condemned the attack as barbaric and requested people to maintain law and order. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, its offshoot the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared an India-wide protest and bandh on 8 July 2005. BJP president L.K. Advani called for reinstatement of the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) in the wake of the attack.
- Terrorists storm Ayodhya complex
- Indian PM condemns terrorist attack in Ayodhya
- US clamps down on leaders of Lashkar-e-Toiba
- US imposes sanctions on four Lashkar-e-Toiba leaders
- Ayodhya Attack: Four more held in Poonch in J&K, India Info, 28 July 2005.
- Ayodhya : Jail custody for militants arrested in JK, India Info, 3 August 2005.
- Ram Janambhumi trust chief threatened, Times of India, 22 November 2007.
- 6 militants storm Ayodhya, killed (rediff.com).
- Terrorists attack the fountainhead of faith (Times of India).
- Police get lead into Ayodhya attack (rediff.com).
- Ayodhya coverage (rediff.com).
- Ram Temple Turmoil (Indian Express).
- Indian Express coverage
- Times Of India coverage