LUCKNOW: On the eve of the verdict in the Babri Mosque demolition case to be delivered by special CBI court on Wednesday after 28 years of legal battle, temple town Ayodhya seemed to be a bit edgy on Tuesday.
Special judge SK Yadav of CBI court will pronounce the verdict against 32 accused, including former deputy PM LK Advani, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, former UP CM Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Sakshi Maharaj, and others at 10:30 am in Lucknow.
If the court decision leads to the conviction of the accused, three sitting BJP MPs including Lallu Singh of Faizabad, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh of Kaiserganj, and Sakshi Maharaj of Unnao may stand to lose their membership in the lower house of Parliament.
During the proceedings of the trial, the CBI produced 600 documentary evidence against the accused and around 351 witnesses testified in the special court in Lucknow.
However, one of the main litigants from the Muslim side Iqbal Ansari ruffled many feathers in his community by seeking the court to acquit all the accused of demolition. “After the Supreme Court verdict, there should not be anything to create a fresh wedge between Hindus and Muslims. So this case should be shut for the sake of communal amity in the country,” said Ansari.
He, however, got a strong rebuff from Haji Mehboob, another litigant of title suit. Haji held Ansari and the likes of him responsible for the sacrifice of the 16th-century mosque. “Strictest punishment should be given to all the accused of the demolition case. There is ample evidence against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar as they all were present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, and were inciting kar sewaks to demolish the structure through their provocative speeches and slogans,” said Haji Mehboob.
The leaders and mahants, based in Ayodhya and accused in the demolition case, expressed their willingness to accept the court verdict with a feeling of pride as their struggle had culminated in the construction of Ram temple.
Former BJP MP and an accused in the demolition case, Dr. Ram Vilas Vedanti said that he was proceeding to Lucknow for appearance and if he faced conviction, he would accept it with pride in the name of Lord Ram. “If I am punished with a life sentence or even sentenced to death, I shall accept it as my fortune,” said Vedanti.
Similarly, Vinay Katiyar, former BJP MP and accused in the case echoed the same sentiment saying he was hoping for the best and was ready to accept whatever the court would decide. “I feel that since the Supreme Court has settled the dispute over Ram Janmabhoomi, this case should also end as the fight was for the Ram temple and that dream is now taking shape,” said Katiyar.
Shiv Sena activist Santosh Dubey, who had participated in the demolition as a kar sewak on the fateful day, said that he would be filled with pride while accepting the verdict. “The aim of my life has been completed with the commencement of the construction of Ram temple. Now, whatever period is left for me on this earth is a bonus. I will gracefully accept the court’s verdict and comply with pride,” said Dubey.