bodies of Dead karsevaks
bodies of Dead karsevaks

The Ayodhya firing describes the occasion when the Uttar Pradesh police opened fire at civilians on two separate days, 30 October 1990 and 2 November 1990, in the aftermath of the Ram Rath Yatra.[1] The civilians were religious volunteers, or kar sevaks, assembled near the Ram Janmabhoomi site at Ayodhya.[2] The state government's official records report that 50 people were killed.[1][3][4][5][6]


In September 1990 the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Shiv Sena campaigned for the Ram Temple to be rebuilt at the Ram Janmabhoomi site. The situation became volatile, with L. K. Advani conducting rath yatra and the VHP mobilizing people to the site. The state government, under Mulayam Singh Yadav, promised protection and a complete lockdown of the site and city.[7] Yadav reassured the public: "No bird would be able to fly into Ayodhya".[8][9]


21 October 1990

Volunteers, or kar sevaks first assembled in Ayodhya, at the behest of L. K. Advani of the BJP and Ashok Singhal of the VHP, on 21 October 1990.[10]

30 October 1990

Called "the D-Day of Karseva" 30 October saw the start of unprecedented security arrangements.[4] Police barred all bus and train services to Ayodhya. Most kar sevaks reached Ayodhya by foot; some swam across the Sarayu river. The police also barricaded the 1.5 km-long climb to the disputed structure and imposed a curfew. According to the investigatory Liberhan Commission report, issued after the event:

At around 10am, a large group of kar sevaks headed towards the site, led by Vamadev, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, and Ashok Singhal of the VHP. Ashok Singhal was wounded on the head by a police baton. This altercation led to a mob frenzy and open confrontation between civilians and policemen.

At around 11am, a Hindu holyman or sadhu managed to gain control of an Armed Constabulary bus in which the police were holding detainees. The sadhu drove the bus right through the barricades, clearing a way for the others to follow on foot. The security forces were caught off guard and were forced to chase about 5,000 kar sevaks, who stormed through the heavily guarded site.[8][11][12] According to eyewitnesses the Kothari brothers mounted a saffron flag atop the Babri Masjid.[13]

1 November 1990

Hindu groups took a day to cremate and pay homage to the lives lost on 1 November.

2 November 1990

Assembled kar sevaks offered prayers(Pooja) at Ramlila on the morning of 2 November and then proceeded to Babri Masjid. Members of the crowd used the strategy of touching security personnel's feet, which made them withdraw a step. This worked for a while, and the procession continued. However, the police took firm action by using tear gas and baton charges to disperse the crowd.[9] Nevertheless, some contingents of kar sevaks reached and partially damaged the mosque.

In response the police opened fire for the second time in 72 hours, and chased kar sevaks through the alleys around Hanumangarhi. In one place, later named Shaheed Gali or Martyr's Alley, police killed many kar sevaks – this included the Kothari Brothers, who were allegedly dragged out of a house.

Some Indians have accused the police of disposing of many dead bodies, either by cremating them at unknown places or by dumping them into the Saryu River in sacks.[14]


List of killed karsevaks and their city of residence:

Wounded survivors

Wounded survivors of the attack included:[17]


News of the shootings was mostly suppressed from the Indian media, but some local and international media outlets mentioned them.[18][19][20][21][22] The firing incident had a major impact on Uttar Pradesh and on Indian national politics.

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was given the sobriquet ‘Mulla’ Mulayam Singh for his pro-muslim stance during the incident. He lost the 1991 election to the Bharatiya Janata Party.[23][24] he described his decision to fire on the crowd in Ayodhya as "painful yet necessary as it was ordered by the high court to maintain peace, law and order till the judgement come out ."[25][1]

People of the Hindu community arranged a memorial meeting for the dead Karsevaks on April 4, 1991 at the Boat Club, New Delhi, which attracted a large audience.[26][27] They also launched a nationwide awareness program displaying the Asthi Kalash (funeral urns) of those who died in the firing incident.[6][28] In the following years, these organizations and their prominent leaders received both political and moral endorsement.

On 6 December 1992, a large group of kar sevaks completely demolished Babri Masjid.


  1. ^ a b c Subudhi, Bibek Krushna (12 November 2019). "Ayodhya verdict". Current affairs night. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. ^ Subudhi, Bibek Krushna (12 November 2019). Ayodhya verdict. 12 Nov 2019.
  3. ^ Subudhi, Bibek Krishna (12 November 2019). "Ayodhya verdict". Archived from the original on 6 October 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Ayodhya, the Battle for India's Soul: The Complete Story – India Real Time – WSJ". 10 December 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Shriram Janmabhumi Mukti Andolan 2 | Vishva Hindu Parishad | Official Website". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Scharada Dubey (2012). Portraits from Ayodhya. p. 71. ISBN 9789381626214. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  7. ^ "It is wholly needless. Why all this tamasha about Ayodhya?: Devi Lal : Voices – India Today 15111990". 15 November 1990. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Ayodhya massacre of Hindu devotees in 1990 which no media will talk about | Internet Hindu". 24 February 2017. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b "We fall, get up and march forward". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Cold blooded massacre of kar sewaks in Ayodhya". Ancient India. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  13. ^ Nath, Sujit (5 December 2017). "Martyrs or Victims: Kothari Brothers Who Laid Down Their Lives for Ram Mandir". News 18. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  14. ^ ""जय श्री राम" बोलते अमर बलिदानी कार सेवक 2)". YouTube. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Miss. Veera Arora vs Life Insurance Corporation And ... on 18 November, 1999". 18 November 1999. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  16. ^ Sachin Pilankar. "The Saga Of Ayodhya". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  17. ^ "1990 Me Ram Janm Bhumi Andolan Mey Hinduo Per Goli Chalati Mullayam Sarkar...(raja singh)". YouTube. 31 October 1984. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  18. ^ "October 31, 1990 – Indian troops kill 5 Hindus in mosque | Chicago Tribune Archive". 31 October 1990. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  19. ^ Barbara Crossette (31 October 1990). "20 Die in India as Hindus Storm Disputed Mosque". The New York Times. Iraq; Kuwait; Middle East. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Aviral Virk (1 February 2017). "Ayodhya DeQoded, Part 6: The Making of "Mullah Mulayam"". The Quint. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Ayodhya braces for a showdown as Akhilesh's govt bans VHP yatra". 22 August 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Decision to order firing in Ayodhya painful: Mulayam Singh Yadav". 28 August 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Shriram Janmabhumi Mukti Andolan 1 | Vishva Hindu Parishad | Official Website". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  27. ^ "VHP gains strength with each passing day, poised to play key role in coming polls : Special Report – India Today 30041991". 30 April 1991. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Chapter-Iv" (PDF). Retrieved 24 May 2017.