A priest and IAS officer die, mysteriously
  • Why was Mahant Laldas, the  outspoken former priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, murdered brutally on November 16, 1993? 
  • What is the truth behind the fatal ‘accident’ of an IAS officer carrying documents to the Liberhan Commission in May 2000? 
Mahant Laldas strong critique of Hindutva
The head-priest of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, Mahant  Lal Das was one of the staunch opponents of the Advani–led rath  yatra. He articulated his opposition to the blatant politicisation of religion and was made to pay with his life: he was found brutally murdered on November 16, 1993. 
The Times of India dated October 18, 1990 reported the priest’s public displeasure at the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation under the headline: ‘Priest asks Advani to halt yatra’.

The text of the report read: “Faizabad–Ayodhya: Bharatiya Janata Party president LK Advani should halt his rathyatra and Muslims from outside Ayodhya and Faizabad should also not politicise the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid issue, head priest of the Ram temple, Lal Das said.
 ”The Hindus and Muslims of Ayodhya and Faizabad can resolve the issue themselves,” Lal Das asserted while commenting on the situation arising out of Mr Advani’s rathyatra…. “The head priest said the offerings at the temple were being deposited at two banks. He alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was “looting the people in the guise of making collections for the temple”.”The VHP and the local administration are conspiring to oust me from this post, so much so that the local administration are determined to arrest me at the behest of the VHP,” he added. (TOI, October 18, 1990)
Murdered in 1993, Laldas had expressed fears for his life
Lal Das criticised the heavy police and para-military development in Ayodhya and said it has created a “state of terror” in the town.Mahant . Laldas paid with his life for his bold and outspoken views. The Independent  of November 18, 1993 recorded his brutal murder in a news report with the headline: ‘Ex–priest’s murder shocks Ayodhya’.

The text of the report read: “The brutal murder of Mahant Laldas, the controversial former priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, on November 16 has sent shock waves through the surrounding areas of Faizabad. Mahant Laldas, who had been unceremoniously evicted by the Kalyan Singh government, was shot dead on Tuesday night at his house in Ayodhya. The priest, who had emerged as the most vocal critic of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh usurping the Ram Janmabhoomi movement from the local bodies, had, for quite some time, been alleging a ‘sangh parivar conspiracy’ to murder him.“Fearing for his life, he is reported to have approached the local administration in Faizabad for security. His request went unheeded.” No one was tried for the murder. Laldas had deposed before the non–official commission investigating the whole issue, much to the annoyance of some local mahants who were part of the Bharatiya Janata Party–Vishwa Hindu Parishad bandwagon. (Citizens Tribunal on Ayodhya, December-January 1993)
Laldas had accused monetary motive behind Ramjanmabhoomi movement
Laldas and many other local mahants had minced no words in repeating that large amounts of money had been collected on behalf of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. Some claimed that the collections had erached Rs 700 crore.

Laldas was not the only one who was done to death. The sudden and mysterious death, by ‘accident’ of OSD, Subhash Bhan Sadh, an official with the Uttar Pradesh home department on April 30, 2000. His father has alleged foul play because he was carrying important documents to submit before the Liberhan Commission.

The Indian Express on July 6, 2000 recorded the mysterious events in an item titled: ‘Was UP official killed for Ayodhya links?’ The report reads, “A day after the high court ordered the Delhi police to investigate into the death of a senior official of the Uttar Pradesh government on April 30, the police are taking a fresh look at what was initially dismissed as an ‘accident’. The police have been directed to file a report on the death of OSD Subhash Bhan Sadh, an officer with the UP home department, by August 22. ….According to a petition filed by the victim’s father Bir Bhan Shad, his son was carrying top secret files relating to the Babri Masjid demolition when he boarded the Kanshi–Vishwanath Express in Lucknow on April 30. He was to appear before the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission the next day. But that never happened as Subhash met with an accident just before the train arrived at the New Delhi station. The files, the petition said, are missing.  

The UP home department denied all allegations.