2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack
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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 attackers launched in order to breach the cordoned wall. The CRPF suffered three casualties, two of whom were seriously injured with multiple gunshot wounds.
Following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, a makeshift temple had been constructed at the Ram Janmabhoomi site, in the city of Ayodhya. According to Hindu mythology, the site was the birthplace of the God-king Rama. On 5 July 2005, the heavily guarded Ram Janmabhoomi - Babri Masjid complex was attacked by heavily armed terrorists. The attack was foiled by security officials and the attackers were killed.
The terrorists were from the Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, and were believed to have entered India through Nepal. They posed as pilgrims on their way 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 Ram (Temple) at Ayodhya where they prayed, possibly to reinforce the impression that they were indeed pilgrims. The terrorists then drove the jeep into the Ram Janmabhoomi site, and forced the driver out of the vehicle, banging the jeep against the security cordon. At 9:05 am, they hurled M67 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, died on the spot as a result of the grenade blast. Firing indiscriminately, the 5 terrorists entered the 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.
The assailants were suspected to belong to the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The investigating team tracked the phone calls made from the cell phones carried by the terrorists 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 Muslim 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 Muslim men– Asif Iqbal, Mohammed Aziz, Mohammed 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 affiliates 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 the reinstatement of the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act in the wake of the attack.
- "The Hindu : Front Page : Armed storm Ayodhya complex". hindu.com.
- "People's Daily Online -- Indian PM condemns the attack in Ayodhya". people.com.cn.
- "Advani blames Ayodhya attack on Pota repeal". Financial Express. 2005-07-09. Retrieved 2014-08-18.