Rights Activists, Feminists Condemn Babri Verdict, Demand that CBI Appeal
Activists and feminists from Mumbai join the wider Indian human rights and minority community in condemning, outright, the travesty of a Judgement in the Babri Masjid Demolition Criminal Case. Not only have none of the 32 accused been found guilty, most of whom are prominent players in the current ruling political dispensation in both Delhi and the state of Uttar Pradesh, but the sheer delay in pronouncement of this verdict makes it a sham on the due process of law. Hard documentary evidence as also powerful witness testimonies from those present, including police officials, have been willfully ignored. There are Videos and Photos of the Demolition, the “leaders” who today claim they are vindicated, have been seen and heard provoking mobs and leading sustained mass campaigns that ensured the demolition did happen. To say that this verdict is the latest in many to spell a death knell for Constitutional Constitutional Law, Morality and the Rule of Law would not be an exaggeration.
We would like to remind all Indians that the entire campaign that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, not only let loose a particularly genocidal character of communal violence where Muslims became repeatedly the target (be it Meerut-Hashimpur, 1997, Bhagalpur, 1989, Ahmedabad, Hubli, Bhiwandi-Bombay, Jaipur among only some instances) but Advani’rathyatra made it abundantly clear that he was not carrying a message of peace. Pictures of him carrying a trishul, an axe, a sword and a bow and arrow were constant. A systematic demonization campaign against Indian Muslims, manipulating history and militarizing Lord Ram was employed.
Among the telling eye witness accounts –including the one by Ruchira Gupta, then with the Business India magazine—was the one by CRPF woman personnel, Anju Gupta.
“On December 6, 1992 Advani made a spirited speech from the Ram Katha KunjManch, barely 150-200 metres from the disputed site, which charged the people. He repeatedly said that the temple would be constructed at the same site,” Gupta told the trial court. She also said that when the karsevaks began demolishing the Babri Masjid none of the BJP leaders who were present, including Advani, made any efforts to stop them. Once the mosque was demolished, the BJP leaders distributed sweets, according to Gupta’s testimony. Despite all this, we have a verdict that has shattered the faith of common Indians.
LK Advani and several others, including Murli Manohar Joshi, who were charged with criminal conspiracy enjoy the impunity provided by a government determined to protect the perpetrators of this Violent and Criminal act. We would also like to remind Indians that it was under the first NDA government in 2001, that the Allahabad high court dropped the charge of criminal conspiracy in this case: the charge was restored by the Supreme Court in 2017, which described the act of demolishing the mosque as a crime that shaken the ‘secular fabric of the Constitution’. But for the intervention of the Supreme Court the trial would not have reached completion.
It is to draw national attention to the far reaching implications of the September 30, 2020 verdict in Lucknow that we invite you to an online Press Conference/Meeting on October 1 at 4 p.m. Speakers are : Teesta Setalvad – Human rights Activist and Journalist (CJP), adv Mihir Desai – PUCL, Meena Menon – Journalist and Author of Riots and After in Bombay, Flavia Agnes – Women activist and Lawyer (Majlis),Shakil Ahmed – Human rights Activist , Farookh mhapkar- Survivor of Bombay Riots
Time at 4pm
Date: 1st Oct October,
Zoom meeting ID:8025489938
We would also like to remind all Indians that the Indian Muslim community, the specific target of not just blood letting but a sustained other-ing campaign that seeks to render it to nothing less than second class status, has reposed faith in the Constitution and democracy when the nation including the Judiciary has failed them, since December 6, 1992. Indian Muslims have, in large measure, demonstrated patience nationwide, when Supreme Court, in a questionable verdict, while recognizing the “crime committed on December 6, 1992”. awarded the land on which the demolished Babri Masjid once stood a section of Hindus that have agitated this violent agitation. Tragically yesterday’s decision is in line with a long line of judicial pronouncements that has betrayed Constitutional and criminal law, let down the faith of the most marginalized in India’s secular democratic stricture.
Way back in 1994, the words of a five-member bench of the Supreme Court are telling. Calling the demolition “ National Shame’, the Court had said that the criminal act shook the ‘faith in the rule of law and constitutional processes. A five-hundred-year-old structure which was defenceless and whose safety was a sacred trust in the hands of the State Government was demolished’.
The CBI must appeal this Judgement and the Guilty must be Punished.
Behalf of organiser
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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