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Militants told driver they were on pilgrimage
July 05, 2005 16:56 IST
When driver Rehan agreed to take four youths around the city for a 'quick pilgrimage' in his vehicle, little did he know that they were on a dangerous mission to attack the makeshift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Rehan, who was arrested by the police at the site of the terrorist attack, later told his interrogators that four persons hired his vehicle, telling him that they wanted to have darshan at the makeshift temple.
"They hired my vehicle at a petrol pump. One of them came up to me and did the talking, after which they put their stuff in the vehicle," the driver, a resident of Ayodhya, who appeared to be in his early 40s, said.
Breaking into tears, he said the militants had come to the petrol pump in a Sumo and switched over to his jeep.
Rehan said the driver of the Sumo had objected to losing his passengers to him, and to pacify him, he gave him a 'token amount' of Rs 70.
Then the four youths told him they wanted to have darshan at the makeshift temple in Ayodhya, following which they wanted to be taken to Lucknow.
"They took the route along the Rajghat, close to the river. And where the road ends at Nirmochan Ghat, there is a small temple, where they knelt before the deity and prayed," Rehan said.
The jeep was then taken to the makeshift temple.