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Published in the 16-31 July 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Jilani’s second missive to Sonia

With the change at the centre, there is a renewed sense of reorganising all democratic institutions which were made virtually the domestic help of BJP-led NDA.

There is some hope that now the law-enforcing agencies would regain their freedom and hence those involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 would be made to stand for trial and brought to justice.

...the CBI, after 11 years of the demolition of the Babri Masjid dropped the filing of conspiracy charge in FIR No. 198/1992 in the supplementary chargesheet filed on 30 March 2003. This FIR contained the 120-B conspiracy charge. After the exoneration of LK Advani on 19 September 2003, CBI did not file any revision petition against the discharge of Advani and let the deadline of 90 days pass until on the last day Haji Mehboob Ahmad and Hafiz Mohammad Siddiqui filed a revision petition in Lucknow Court on 19 December 2003 challenging the of VK Singh.

Zafaryab Jilani, national convenor of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC), with this objective in mind, did not miss anytime to remind the new government of its duties. Within a fortnight of the swearing-in of the new government he has shot his second letter to Mrs Sonia Gandh, in her capacity as the President of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party demanding the prosecution and punishment of the accused involved in the Babri Masjid demolition including former DPM LK Advani. 

The letter decries the role of nation’s premiere investigating agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to have become partisan favouring LK Advani and his associates during the last few years. Instead of making efforts to get them punished in the demolition of Babri Masjid, the CBI tried had not only to get their trial delayed but also helped them get relief from Court! With that very end in view, the CBI has neither opposed the grant of stay order in the Criminal Revisions filed by MM Joshi (former HRD minister) and others, nor did it file any revision against the order of 19 September 2003 passed by the Special Judicial Magistrate VK Singh at Rae Bareli, UP whereby LK Advani was discharged for his role in Babri Masjid demolition with the express intervention of Mulayam Singh.

It may be mentioned here that on 19 September 2003 it was ordered that LK Advani stands exonerated while framing of charges against other demolition leaders like MM Joshi, Uma Bharati, Ashok Singhal, Sadhvi Rithambra, VK Dalmia, Giriraj Kishore and Vinay Katiyar were allowed. Soon, on 30 September 2003, MM Joshi secured a ‘stay’ order from the Allahabad High Court on the order of Rae Bareli court and, thereafter, similar stay order were issued in favour of all the other five accused.

Jilani’s second letter, sent on 31 May 2004, refers to the first letter sent on 31 January 2004. The first one was sent to Director, CBI, apart from others which included Sonia Gandhi as the leader of Opposition then. That letter was meant to draw the attention of the head of the CBI towards the conduct of his organisation but the CBI director did not deign even to acknowledge it!

"All this shows that even the top functionaries of CBI appeared to be involved in the efforts to save LK Advani and his associates from being punished for their role in the demolition of Babri Masjid," said Jilani in his second letter.

"After being disillusioned and totally dissatisfied and disappointed with the conduct of the CBI officials entrusted with the job of pursuing the aforesaid cases relating to the demolition of Babri Masjid, BMAC could not find any alternative but to approach the present government at the Centre through Sonia Gandhi for ensuring justice in the matter, by getting the guilty persons punished at the earliest so as to reinstate again that the secular and peace-loving people of the country, especially, Muslims and other minorities, may get a reassurance that law of the land is meant for all and no one, howsoever big or important person he may be, can evade or avoid punishment of such a heinous crime like demolition of Babri Masjid," explained Jilani on the reasons of his second missive.

Zafaryab Jilani also pointed that Congress party leaders as well as the leaders of several other parties forming part of UPA today had taken a very strong stand inside Parliament (July 2003 Monsoon Session) as well as outside, against the deletion of section 120-B in the supplementary chargesheet filed in this matter before the Special Judicial Masgistrate in Rae Bareli, UP.

It is worthwile to mention there that the CBI, after 11 years of the demolition of the Babri Masjid dropped the filing of conspiracy charge in FIR No. 198/1992 in the supplementary chargesheet filed on 30 March 2003. This FIR contained the 120-B conspiracy charge. After the exoneration of LK Advani on 19 September 2003, CBI did not file any revision petition against the discharge of Advani and let the deadline of 90 days pass until on the last day Haji Mehboob Ahmad and Hafiz Mohammad Siddiqui filed a revision petition in Lucknow Court on 19 December 2003 challenging the order of VK Singh.

"It may be pointed out that the CBI, instead of supporting the revision against the order of discharge of LK Advani, has been trying to give an impression to the court as if our revision filed against LK Advani was not maintainable," rued Jilani. 

Now perhaps it is too evident that the CBI is not at all perusing its own chargesheet and is rather trying to save LK Advani even from the diluted chargesheet, he said,

“It is therefore, requested that you [Sonia Gandhi] may take appropriate steps in the matter to ensure that all the accused persons involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid, including LK Advani are prosecuted and punished and their trial is concluded at the earliest, as the matter has already got delayed for more than 10 years,” is how the letter concludes. A copy has also been sent to Prime Minister MM Singh and Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. 

The recent conduct of the CBI is enough to make even a mute spectator to conclude that the CBI was being remote- controlled by the BJP, the party which tried to demolish every democratic institution of the nation until it was made to bite dust by the overwhelming secular citizenry of India. Now the present government should take steps to nullify the partisan-stamp of the nations most important investigating agency and also restore people’s confidence in the maxim that law should reign supreme. 


Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi
Lucknow

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