NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW—The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has expressed disappointment at the verdict given by the designated CBI Special Court in the Babri Masjid demolition case in which all the 32 surviving accused have been acquitted.
Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has said that it will appeal against the special CBI court verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case in the Allahabad High Court.
JIH President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini said, in a statement, said, “The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses disappointment at the Babri Masjid demolition case verdict today. Even after 28 years, the justice that people were seeking has not been delivered. The designated court has acquitted all the accused citing lack of evidence notwithstanding the fact that just 10 months back the Supreme Court of India had called the demolition a criminal act and a violation of the law. How the court arrived at the conclusion that there was no conspiracy to demolish the Masjid and that the act was spontaneous and not pre-planned, is difficult to understand?”
“The entire Ramjanmbhoomi movement and the Rath Yatra launched by L K Advani, one of the main accused in the case, was nothing but a mission to construct a temple at the exact same site where the Masjid stood. If the self-proclaimed mission repeated by the accused several times to replace the existing mosque with a temple, hundreds of times and recorded in full public view, is not evidence of a conspiracy of the criminal act perpetrated by thousands of frenzied ‘kar-sevaks’ on 6 December 1992, then what is?” the JIH president asked.
Syed Sadatullah averred: “Naturally, we support the case to be challenged before the higher courts as all justice loving citizens of this country can never be satisfied with this judgment. We live in a civilized society where the rule of the law is paramount and we do not approve of any extra-judicial force or violence that disregards the law of the land to achieve one’s political agenda or parochial targets. History will not judge our nation kindly over the Babri Masjid demolition case, where justice was delayed, denied and the accused culprits were rewarded and allowed to go scot-free.”
After the verdict, AIMPLB declared that it will challenge the verdict of the special CBI court in the Allahabad High Court.
Personal Law Board to challenge the verdict
AIMPLB Secretary Zafaryab Jilani said that the judgment pronounced on Wednesday by the special CBI court in the case was “wrong”.
“We will appeal against the judgment in the High Court,” said the lawyer, who was also part of the Babri Masjid Action Committee.
Prominent Sunni religious leader and AIMPLB member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said everyone knows how the “Babri Masjid was demolished in full public view” and the “law of the land was shredded to pieces”.
“The Muslims, in this country, have always respected court decisions. In the final judgment of the Babri Masjid case, the court had clearly said that the Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that had been constructed well over 450 years ago. Then the Supreme Court also said that it was an unlawful destruction. However, if there was a criminal conspiracy, it had to be decided by the court. Now, Muslim organisations will sit together and decide whether today’s judgment has to be appealed against or not,” he said.
Decision conttrary to Supreme Court order: Congress leader Randip Surjewala
Meanwhile, Randip Singh Surjewala, chief of the Communications Department, All India Congress Committee (AICC), remarked that “Decision of Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case. In a tweet, he said that the Supreme Court, in its jugement on November 11, 2019, had held demolition of the Babari Masjid as a clear illegality and “egregious violation of rule of law” but special court exonerated all the accused.
Verdict a black day in India judiciary: Asaduddin Owaisi
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi, commenting on the verdict, said that he was “pained” at the verdict and described it as “black day in the history of Indian judiciary”.
LK Advani, other BJP leaders welcome the verdict
Veteran BJP leader and former deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, who had launched the Ram Rath yatra for building the Ram temple at the very place where the mosque stood, said, “I welcome the verdict wholeheartedly”. His colleague in the party, who was also among the accused in the case, said the verdict proved that there was no conspiracy hatched in pulling down the mosque. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also hailed the verdict.
Religious divisions deepened in India after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister
It may be a coincidence but this is a fact that social and religious divisions in India had deepened ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister on May 16, 2014.
His ascension to power not only resulted in stronger and louder demand for construction of the Ram Temple over the site of the demolished Babri Masjid but the country also saw mob lynching of Muslims in trains and on highways on various pretexts.
The mob lynching that began with self-appointed cow vigilantes targeting Muslims carrying and transporting cattle, resulted in targeting of Muslims wearing skull caps and beards, creating an atmosphere of terror among the Muslims and generating hatred against them in the entire length and breadth of the country, with Modi maintaining stoic silence or when he spoke, it was too late and his statements were very vague.
In most of the mob lynching cases, particularly in BJP ruled states, FIRs were registered against the victims, not the accused. Instead of taking action against the accused, the victims were harassed further by the police, thus discouraging the victims to approach the police. This indirectly encouraged anti-social elements to attack Muslims.
So, when the verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi case came in November 2019 handing over the Babri Masjid land for construction of Ram Temple, no one was surprised given the political conditions in the country. While the Supreme Court held that demolition of the Babri Masjid was “illegal”, it handed over the mosque land to the temple party. Though Muslims criticised the verdict, they accepted it as it came from the highest court of the land.
The Modi government brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), making religion as basis for citizenship. As people are required to submit lot of documents to prove their citizenship, Muslims felt they would be reduced to stateless citizens given the political atmosphere of the country and the biased attitude of the ruling party towards them. They launched anti-CAA movement all over the country with the support of the leftists and liberal Hindus. However, the movement, which was billed as the biggest one after freedom struggle, came to an abrupt end when the lockdown was imposed in March to check spread of coronavirus pandemic. The Delhi linked anti-CAA agitation with the northeast Delhi riots of February 2020, thus further trying to polarise the society against Muslims and creating hatred against them.
When the Coronavirus pandemic spread in Delhi and other big cities of the country, the Union health ministry as also Delhi state health department, in their bulletins, bifurcated the Corona positive cases on the basis of religion, holding the Tablighi Jamaat responsible for spread of the pandemic. Tablighi Jamaat headquarters at Banglewali Masjid at Nizamuddin in New Delhi was sealed and still remains sealed where Tablighis from India as also from foreign countries had assembled to attend an event which was planned several months before the pandemic came to knowledge of the people world over. While a large number of Tablighis had left for their homes after the event but some foreigners could not move out due to sudden lockdown imposed by the government in the wake of coronavirus infections. But it was publicised by the media in such a way as if Tablighis, indirectly Muslims, were responsible for import of coronavirus and its spread in India, thus further spreading hate against Muslims in India. This resulted in trade boycott of Muslims and many Muslims in Delhi and other places were also attacked by anti-social elements who called them as ‘corona-carriers’ or ‘corona-spreaders’.
On August 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in laying the foundation stone of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya which attracted criticism from various quarters. Several intellectuals, academicians and politicians said that Modi had violated the oath he had taken as PM.
The Muslims were, therefore, not astonished on Wednesday (September 30) when the Special CBI court acquitted all the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, saying that there was no conspiracy involved in demolition.
Timeline of the Babri Masjid Case:
1528: Mir Baqi, Army Commander of Mughal Emperod Babur built the mosque.
1949: An idol of Ram Lala installed inside the central dome of the mosque. Mosque was locked and Muslims prevented from praying inside it.
February 1, 1986: A local court ordered the district administration to open the locks on the mosque to allow Hindus to pray inside the mosque.
August 14, 1986. Allahabad High Court orders status quo on the site.
December 6, 1992. The Babri Masjid is demolished by a Hindu crowd led by senior BJP leaders including L K Advani, MM Joshi and others. It resulted in riots in major cities of the country and over 2,000 persons, mostly Muslims were killed. The Ram Janmabhoomi movement that was launched by LK Advani resulted in social divisions and hatred against Muslims all over the country, even in rural areas that had remained islands of communal amity.
November 9, 2019: The Supreme Court, in its historic verdict, gave the Babri Masjid land to the Hindu party.
September 30, 2020: Special CBI court in Lucknow acquits all the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case.