Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — On the eve of the 27th anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid by a Hindu mob, several political groups on Thursday pressed the demand for speedy trial and punishment of the accused in the crime. They also slammed the Babri masjid verdict, saying it did not do justice to the 16th Century Babri Masjid and referred to the glaring contradictions in the verdict.
They called upon the people to join a protest demonstration on Friday to condemn the “monstrous” crime which also unleashed communal violence that killed thousands of people. Addressing a press conference, the Lok Raj Sangathan president S Raghavan said the court order on the Babri Masjid case was not based on evidence and logic. “It is not justice but an act of appeasement of the majority,” he said.
However, Raghavan noted that all Hindus did not think on the same line. “I am a Hindu, but I do not subscribe to the view that a temple should be built on the ruins of a mosque or that the mosque should have been demolished at all. All Hindus may not so so, as there is no such majority in the country. The ‘majority’ is a fictional one. The court’s order defies logic and principles of the natural justice,” he said.
“Everyone is being asked to accept this verdict in the name of preserving communal harmony. But, there can be no justice if those guilty of committing crimes against the humanity are not punished,” he said. He added: “It is unfortunate that even after 27 years, the criminal cases against those responsible for the demolition are gathering dust in CBI courts.”
“The Liberhan Commission and the Srikrishna Commission indicted political leaders of the BJP and the Shiv Sena at the highest level in the demolition and the ensuing violence. However, no action has been taken against any of them even though 27 years have passed,” he said.
Raghavan said the Lok Raj Sangathan along with other organisations have been organising protest marches and rallies against the demolition of Babri Masjid since 1993. In Friday’s rally, more than 15 organisations will take part, he said.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Babri Masjid Committee convener, Dr SQR Ilyas noted that eight top leaders of the BJP including LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katihar etc were prominently involved in the crime but enjoyed impunity for no real reason or justification.
Stressing that the Masjid demolition was not a Hindu Vs Muslim issue but a matter of upholding the rule of law, Dr Ilyas said the Congress was also equally responsible for the demolition. “During its rule, the first idols were put surreptitiously inside the mosque in December 1949. In 1986, the masjid was unlocked for Hindus. In 1989, a Shilaniyas was organised. On December 6, 1992, in the very presence of the central security forces, the Masjid was razed in broad daylight.”
Dr Ilyas, who also heads the Welfare Party of India, said the Supreme Court should admit the review petitions on its impugned Babri Masjid judgment, in the same manner as it did in the Sabarimala case.
Echoing similar views, the Social Democratic Party of India’s national vice president advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad said there were glaring contradictions in the Babri Masjid judgement delivered by the apex court on November 9. “There is a huge contradiction between the findings and the operative portions of the judgement and the court also used the unsigned part of the ASI report in ruling in favour of the Hindu party,” he said.
Sharfuddin, who visited Ayodhya and wrote a book on it, pointed out that there were 12 temples in Ayodhya and each of these claimed that it was the genuine Ram Janmbhoomi. While delivering the Babri Masjid judgement, it seemed that the judiciary took on the role of the executive as to how to maintain communal harmony in the country, he said.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India leader Birju Nayak said, “How can we accept a verdict that leaves the criminals unpunished? It is not only an attack on Muslims but an attack on all the justice-loving people of our country.” He said the Congress and the BJP pursued the ‘divide and rule’ policy to grab power.
The Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind’s Inamur Rehman and Popular Front of India’s AS Ismail also addressed the press conference. Calling upon the people to join the Friday protest rally, the leaders vowed to persist with the struggle for justice. “We will persist with the demand that those responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid and the unleashing of communal violence in 1992-93 must be punished. We demand that the right to conscience of every member of the society be respected and protected as a universal and inviolable right.”
The slogans for the rally are:
“Punish those guilty of demolition of Babri Masjid!
Review Supreme Court verdict to build a Ram temple at the site of Babri Masjid!
‘No’ to communal and divisive politics!
For peace, unity and well-being of our people!
An attack on one is an attack on all!
The joint demonstration will start 2:30pm from Mandi House and culminate in a public meeting at Jantar Mantar herein New Delhi.