Uttar Pradesh: This temple is being taken care of by Muslims since the Babri Masjid demolition
In Laddhewala, Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar city, a solitary temple was left behind by its Hindus in eary 1990s at the time when the Babri Masjid was demolished.
Since then, this temple is being taken care of by its Muslim neighbors. They clean it daily, whitewash it every Diwali and keep it away from squatters and stray animals.
Remembering the time when Hindu families had left the area in the aftermath of communal clashes, 60-year-old Meharbaan Ali, a resident of Laddhewala, said “ Jitender Kumar was one of my closest friends. I tried to stop him from leaving, despite the tension. But the left nevertheless, along with many other families with the promise that they would be back some day. Since then, residents here have been taking care of the temple”.
Most of the Muslims living in the locality like Ali are hopeful that their Hindu neighbors would return. There are around 35 Muslim families living in the area. According to them, around 20 Hindu families were living there when the temple was built sometime around 20 Hindu families.
“The shrine is regularly cleaned and its walls periodically painted. We want them to come back and take control of it,” Zaheer Ahmad was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
A former local municipal ward member Nadeem Khan said “Locals pool in money ahead of Diwali every year to get it whitewashed. They make it a point to keep it clean every day. In the temple, there, however, is no idol. Khan said “There used to be one before 1992. When the families left, they away the idol with too”.
Gulzar Siddiqui, Pappu Bhai, Kayyum Ahmed, Naushad, Zahid Ahmed and Maksood Ahmed are those residents who looks it after.