AYODHYA: Three Hindu activists who were involved in razing Babri Masjid to the ground in 1992 have converted to Islam.
For three persons who once were regarded as heroes in their own villages for razing down Babri Masjid, the act is now a crime that they deeply regret. The guilt-ridden former Kar Sevaks (activists) have now converted to Islam.
Balbir Singh, who was once a popular Shiv Sena leader and the one that climbed the dome of the razed Babri Masjid, is now known as Muhammad Amir after converting to Islam. Along with his colleague Muhammad Umar (who was formerly known as Yogendra Pal and was also involved in the Babri Masjid attack) have vowed to construct and renovate 100 mosques as atonement for their sins.
Singh’s transformation from radical Hindu activist to a Muslim is all the more sensational. The man from Panipat was in Deoband to assassinate Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui when he heard the cleric’s sermon.
It was then that Singh approached Maulana Kaleem not as a foe out there to assassinate him but as a man who had decided to change his religion.However, changing his religion has come at a coast as Mohammad Aamir, as he is known now, has shifted to Hyderabad where he has married a Muslim woman.
Shockingly, Aamir also runs a school that imparts Islamic teachings to children.
He’s not the only one though whose conscience has awaken after all these years. Shive Prasad, a former youth leader of Bajrang Daal in Ayodhya, used to train 4,000 Kar Sevaks in the city.
He was also one of the most active participants who were involved in pulling down Babri Masjid in 1992. After the incident he went into severe depression and suffered from bouts of hallucination. To cure him of his condition, Prasad sought the help of saints, mantriks and psychiatrists but to no avail.
For the next five years, he lived a life cut off from society. In 1997, he went to Sharjah for employment and in 1999, converted to Islam and now goes by the name of Mohammad Mustafa.
However, like the other activists, repentance for him has come at a heavy cost. Ostracised by his family, Mustafa has been threatened with dire consequences should he ever choose to return to India by the Sangh Parivar.
Story first published: 6th December 2017