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The writing on the wall

Two or three news item are such as deserve serious attention of intellectuals, secular political parties and leaders and champions of human rights. Doubts are currently being expressed that hard core and extremist elements of BJP and its sister organisations, while preparing for general elections in the country, can make UP another Gujarat to derive political mileage. God forbid that such a thing should happen but circumstances demand that full attention be paid to such doubts and there should be no room for laxity.

Founder of Bajrang Dal and Chief of UPís BJP unit, Vinay Katyar, after taking over the command of the party has declared his intention to reinvigorate the controversial issue which has been the cause of dozens of communal riots and irreparable loss. He has declared that construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed site is at the top of his (or BJPís) agenda.

Muslims of India are not opposed to the construction of temples. Had it been so, hundreds of grand temples would not have been built when, according to the so-called champions of Hindutva, Muslim rulers and kings had razed hundreds of temples to the ground. Large estates would not have been granted to hundreds of temples by Muslim rulers and kings. Muslims of India oppose the construction of temple at the disputed siteí whose case is pending in the court for hearing and where till the morning of 6 1992 December, Babri Masjid stood. Our opposition is not based on lathis, spears, trishuls or swords, but on legal and constitutional research and on facts. The other party, on the contrary, is talking of even rejecting the verdict of the court on the pretext that this problem is one of mere belief and faith, negating all rules and regulations of witnesses and historical proof, democratic principles and principles of justice.

It would not be appropriate to ignore the declarations of Vinay Katiyar by treating it as mere trash. It has on hidden and significant meaning. He wants the problem of temple construction to be settled by mutual talk or by courtís verdict so that the temple should have the sanctity of mutual agreement or courtís verdict. If and when a problem is a matter of dispute between two parties and it is referred to the court, the civilised or parties should maintain silence and allow the court to pronounce its judgement. Saying or doing anything before that is insult of the court and tantamount to inciting the other party and spoiling the atmosphere of harmony and peace.

Since the matter is in the court, stand of Muslims is perfectly all right that whatever be the courtís verdict it will be acceptable to them. There is no other way out. 

The new national president of BJP, Venkia Naidu is also considered in Hindutva soldier of the first rank. His views also have come to the notice of the nation. Immediately after taking over as president of BJP, he spoke of revivalism of Hindutva.

Whatever may be the true meaning, definition and requirement of Hindutva, BJPís Hindutva is the one which has no room for co-existence and unity in diversity. At a function held on the occasion of birth anniversary of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Venkia Naidu said that BJP need not be ashamed and apologetic about agenda and that today also three things were on the top of its agenda which distinguished it from all other secular parties, i.e., Section 370 of the Constitution, uniform civil code and Ram mandir. He said that general election would be held in 2004 and BJP had to get ready on its own strength. 

The third news is regarding the forensic report pertaining to Godhra. It may be understood here that forensic department is not a private institution but is an independent federal institution whose findings and reports are very important and which plays a vital role in reaching the depth of a problem. The report presented by two officers of forensic laboratory is also included in the interim chargsheet of the Godhra case of terrible fire.

Briefly, the report says that on February 27, 2002 in coach No S-6 of Sabarmati Express at some distance from Godhra railway station in which more than 57 supposed karsevaks were burnt alive was not the handiwork of people outside the compartment but fire was started inside the compartment by pouring in 60 liters inflammable materials. The question as to who were the people who had poured petrol inside the compartment and who had started the fire is still under investigation, but the mystery has almost been solved that the inflammable material was already there in the compartment. Since some of the karsevek in the compartment had forcibly dragged a helpless 16-year old girl inside the compartment and had shut all the doors and windows from inside, the possibility of any one else boarding the train carrying container of petrol/kerosene etc and setting the bogey on fire when the train stopped at a small distance from Godhra platform is ruled out. The report however does point out that the doors of the compartment were open at the time of the incident.

The officers of the forensic laboratory carried out a practical experiment by putting another bogey on the railway track at the same place and throwing 60 litters of water from cans. They found that only about 10 or 15 percent of water could reach the compartment and all the rest fell on the tracks. The report also said that the fire had affected the internal parts of the compartment, not the external ones. All this goes to prove that the compartment was set on fire from inside and not from outside.

We are not concerned with whether or not ISI had some role in this tragedy, though it has been claimed in the interim chargsheet that ISI is not involved in it.

According to the superintendent of Police of Panchmahal, Raj Bhargava, the crowd of Muslims that was present outside the coach no: S-6 after the incident, in which Haji Bilal and Muhammad Husain Kalota, were arrested as culprits had gathered there only as spectators. This also means that this crowd was not involved in the train fire.

The question then arises as to who set the train on fire. It is essential to unravel this mystery. Investigations are still going on.

It has now become obvious that only those persons or officers of FSI can undertake such honest and clear investigations who have prepared this report, but it appears that these officers will not now be allowed to carry out the investigations independently. LK Advani said that it was a planned incident for which no forensic report is required. This statement of Advani throws full light on the writing on the wall. Being a lay person to forensic science, he has dismissed technical report by competent authority just because it does not suit him.

Į Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasimi

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