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Babari Masjid: introspection needed 

Babari Masjid demolition case needs a serious introspection by Muslims and other secularists. The demolition case was left at the mercy of the CBI and government. Muslims, though being the aggrieved party, did nothing to properly pursue the case right from the lodging of the First Information Report (FIR) to referring the special courts issue to the High Court. Babari Masjid champions never took any interest in this case. The CBI contested the case, but half-heartedly since it was never serious in getting the culprits punished. This could well be understood from fact the that perpetrators very conveniently passed ten years in the High Court where only it was to be decided whether the constitution of special CBI court was right or wrong. After about ten years the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court came to the conclusion that for case no. 197/92 the constitution of the special CBI court was right, and for case no. 198/92 it was wrong because the government did not take the approval of the High Court in the matter. The case was fought by CBI advocates who get their fee from the agency, which comes under the Union home ministry. For the last five years the ministry is being headed by the main accused, Lal Krishna Advani, who had also been promoted as the Deputy Prime Minister. Though the CBI is considered to be an autonomous body but when the NDA government could not maintain the independence of Election Commission, how it would treat the CBI can very well be understood. Not only this government but all the union governments have used the CBI as a tool to silence their detractors whenever the need be. 

Unfortunately Muslim lawyers never took any interest in this case. When it is the matter of title suit, best legal brains reach the court and services of eminent lawyers like Siddharth Shankar Ray are obtained, but this criminal case had been left at the mercy of the CBI and the results are before everybody to see. 

From the very first stage there has been carelessness and negligence on the part of Muslims. The demolition of the Babari Masjid on 6th December 1992 was followed by the killings of more than a dozen Muslims in Ayodhya. If in both cases i.e.197/92 and 198/92 this crime would have been included, the more serious section of 302(Murder) and 120 B(Conspiracy) would have been applied making the case more serious and thus would have provided an opportunity to the aggrieved party to contest the case through their advocates. In this way these cases would not have been at the mercy of the CBI. One, however, fails to understand why Muslims are not seriously interested in getting the culprits punished for their misdeeds. The interest that is being shown in title suit by the entire community and its bodies including the Muslim Personal Law Board, Babari Masjid Action and Coordination committees etc. is nowhere seen in criminal proceedings of the case. Wasting maximum possible time in legal wrangles is the strategy of accused persons. This is clear from the fact that the High Court’s decision of special CBI court has again been challenged in the same court by the accused persons in case no 197/92 on the ground that they have been discriminated against the accused in case no 198/92, and the case is lying in the High Court for the last one year and perhaps there has not been even a single hearing. Muslims and secularists are watching the situation helplessly as they are not a party in the case. 

Much hue and cry is being raised on the unfavourable decision of Mayawati conveniently forgetting that she and her mentor Kanshi Ram have already portrayed themselves rank opportunists. For them power comes first than the interest of their Dalit community. Muslims stand nowhere in their scheme of things. They are just vote banks and policy of use and throw is blatantly adopted for them. This may be a late realisation but it needs to be accepted not only in the case of Mayawati but for all other political parties. 

In this particular case, Muslims in general and liberals of the society in particular, should realise their folly and rectify the mistake by filing an application to include the murder and conspiracy clause in the case. Dependence on the CBI should be stopped and the case must be pleaded by advocates of the aggrieved party, otherwise the culprits of this heinous crime would go scot-free. 

¯ Obaid Nasir
Lucknow

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