Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — While describing the Supreme Court judgement in the Babri Masjid case as a “miscarriage of justice,” the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Tuesday pleaded that a fast-track court be set up to prosecute those involved including former BJP presidents LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as also another BJP leader Uma Bharti over the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
Addressing the monthly press conference at the Jamaat headquarters, its vice president Muhammad Salim Engineer said the Supreme Court has accepted that the demolition of the mosque was a serious criminal act. As such, the accused in the case should be quickly brought to justice.
The Jamaat also condemned the gruesome rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad. Supporting the JNU students’ movement against fees hike, the Jamaat condemned the police highhandedness against the students.
Punish the guilty
“The Supreme Court has unambiguously ruled in its Ayodhya verdict of November 9 that the surreptitious installation of idols in 1949 was a desecration of the Masjid and its demolition in 1992 was an illegal act. Hence, those accused of demolishing the Masjid should be tried in a fast-track court and awarded appropriate punishment as soon as possible,” Salim said.
He said it was a matter of concern that the slow pace of the trial, despite evidence, suggested that the government was not serious about convicting the guilty. “If the case moves at its present pace, most of the accused will have left the world unpunished by the time the verdict is delivered, and this would be a travesty of justice,” he said.
The Justice Liberhan Commission had, in its report, named Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Ashok Singhal, Bal Thackeray and many other leaders linked to the saffron ideology and RSS as being the key figures behind this sacrilege.
The JIH’s national secretary for community affairs, Malik Mohtasim Khan who also addressed the media said the Babri verdict was a “miscarriage of justice” and he supported the filing of a review petition against the verdict. “The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind along with the Muslim community and all justice-loving people of the world are largely disturbed with the Supreme Court judgement on the Babri Masjid. The Jamaat feels that the pleas for justice and fairplay have not been met by the court, which instead awarded the land to those who demolished the Masjid.”
He noted that even a host of legal experts including former SC judges Markandeya Katju and AK Ganguly have passed sharply critical comments against the judgement. “The Jamaat supports the move by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to file a review petition against the judgment and it also backs the board’s decision to reject the five acres of land awarded by the Supreme Court. Muslims did not litigate for award of a piece of land. Its fight was for justice and to demand their legitimate rights granted by the Constitution of India,” he added.
Gang-rape in Hyderabad
On the recent gang-rape incident in Hyderabad and the growing number of crimes against women, the secretary of the JIH women’s department, Atiya Siddiqa and co-secretary Rahmatunnisa said it was a matter of grave concern that crimes against women were on the rise. They condemned the Hyderabad incident in the strongest terms.
“We condemn the brutal rape and murder of a young doctor in Hyderabad and demand that the perpetrators be punished at the earliest. The number of rapes and crimes against women continues to rise phenomenally and the latest NCRB data reveals that nearly four women are raped every hour while two women are molested every three minutes in India. The Jamaat wants the perpetrators of rape and assault on women to be punished quickly and they must be awarded the maximum punishment under the law of the land. The conviction rate in rape cases is extremely low and hence there is no deterrence. We hope the government wakes up to its duty to ensure safety and security for women and lives up to its slogan of Beti Bachao.”
Rahmatunnisa criticised the communal forces and the ruling BJP leaders for giving a communal spin to the Hyderabad rape incident.
On the ongoing struggle at the JNU, the Jamaat said the students’ demand for a rollback of the fees hike was genuine. “Ever since this government came to power, attempts are being made to privatise education. We have been urging the government for a long time to allot six per cent of the GDP for education, Engineer Salim said.
On NRC, the Jamaat felt the home minister ‘s announcement was politically motivated. “The people are urged not to get panicky because of such politically motivated statements from some ruling party leaders, it said.