Acquittal of RSS, BJP leaders in Babri mosque demolition is a travesty of justice say Indian Americans
Illinois (October 1, 2020): The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today expressed its dismay over the acquittal of the leaders of the RSS and the BJP in the case of the demolition of the historic Babri mosque in 1992.
A special court in India on Wednesday declared the demolition of the mosque as a “spontaneous act” while acquitting 32 accused including senior RSS and BJP leaders like former Union ministers Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti of criminal conspiracy. The acquittal comes at the end of a torturous legal process spanning three decades at the end of which the Court held no one responsible or punishable for the demolition, despite every evidence fort it.
IAMC has expressed its shock at the way justice was delayed and denied in the demolition of the historic mosque, done in full view of the national and international audiences and television and print journalists. Thousands of Muslims were killed during the communal violence which followed the demolition.
“Indian Americans and all people of conscience feel let down by the CBI court. The acquittal of RSS and BJP leaders suggests that under the current dispensation, the majority and the mobs have the right of way,” said Ahsan Khan, president of the Indian American Muslim Council. “This grave injustice is yet another assault on India’s 200 million Muslims,” added Mr. Khan.
There are two orders of the Supreme Court of India which point to the charge of criminal conspiracy against the accused. In an acknowledgment of the gravity of the crime, the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court of India on November 9, 2019, termed the demolition of the Babri mosque a “calculated act” and “an egregious violation of the rule of law.”
“During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which has been constructed well over 450 years ago,” said the order of then chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
“On 6 December 1992, the structure of the mosque was brought down and the mosque was destroyed. The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the order of status quo and an assurance given to this Court. The destruction of the mosque and the obliteration of the Islamic structure was an egregious violation of the rule of law,” the bench had further added.
It was the Supreme Court which, more than two years ago, revived the charges of criminal conspiracy against the accused. “In the present case, crimes which shake the secular fabric of the Constitution of India have allegedly been committed almost 25 years ago. The accused persons have not been brought to book largely because of the conduct of the CBI in not pursuing the prosecution of the aforesaid alleged offenders in a joint trial, and because of technical defects which were easily curable, but which were not cured by the State Government,” the bench of justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton F Nariman had said on April 19, 2017.
While acquitting the RSS and BJP leaders, the CBI court has not only ignored the Supreme Court orders, but also the findings of the Liberhan Commission which was set up by the government of India in 1992 to probe the demolition of the mosque. The findings of the Commission make it very clear that the preparation and conspiracy to execute the demolition was underway months before the actual demolition took place.
The Liberhan Commission had concluded that the demolition of the Babri mosque was meticulously planned. The Commission had said the mobilization of the cadres of RSS, Bajrang Dal, BJP and Shiv Sena in Ayodhya was neither “spontaneous or voluntary” but “orchestrated and planned.”
The Commission in its report named over 60 people – including senior BJP leaders Advani, Joshi, Bharti and A B Vajpayee, RSS and VHP leaders, bureaucrats – as “culpable” for “leading the country to the brink of communal discord.”
Among many instances the Commission mentioned in its report to substantiate its finding, includes the one about Champat Rai, now general secretary of the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust that is in charge of the construction of the temple at Ayodhya. The Commission said Mr. Rai had “declared that guerrilla shaily (strategy) would be adopted on 6th of December 1992. This declaration was published and not contradicted or countered by any leader of the movement or political party.”
“Prognosis of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the mobilization of the kar sevaks (volunteers) was neither spontaneous and voluntary. It was orchestrated and planned,” it said.
Mohammed Jawad, national general secretary of the IAMC condemned the CBI which reports to the Narendra Modi government for “deliberately botching up the investigation” during the investigation stage.
“The judgement delivered by the court on Wednesday, highlights among many other things, that CBI did not present crucial evidence before the court including the photos and videos recording the planning and conspiracy of the demolition by the RSS and BJP leaders. It seems India’s federal investigating agency wanted to ensure that the accused from the RSS and BJP, go scot free,” said Mr. Jawad while demanding an appeal against the acquittal in higher courts.
For a factual account of what took place in December 1992 and how the Babri mosque was demolished, here is the link to the Liberhan Commission Report: https://iamc.com/files/Liberhan_Report_Chapter_01_of_16.pdf
IAMC is dedicated to promoting the common values of pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights that form the basis of the world’s two largest secular democracies – the United States and India.