LUCKNOW: The acquittal of all the 32 accused the Babri Masjid demolition case by the special CBI court evoked a feeling of disappointment and dejection from the Muslim citizenry here on Wednesday.
The court said there was no conclusive proof against the accused which included BJP veterans L K Advani and MM Joshi. The case relates to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
While the Muslim religious leaders rejected the verdict calling it "injustice", the community in general felt that the verdict should be challenged in the higher court. If all the accused were exonerated, then who was responsible for the sacrifice of 16th century Babri Masjid which was raged to the ground by a huge and charged mob, they asked.
Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani, one of the most prominent faces who led the legal battle over the Ayodhya issue on behalf of Muslims, rejected the CBI court decision. “The judgment is totally erroneous. It is neither based on evidence nor is as per law. It is against the criminal justice system of the country. The observation of the court on the lack of evidence is wrong. There is enormous evidence to nail the accused. We will now approach the High Court to challenge this verdict,” said Jilani. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) also echoed the same sentiment.
Muslim cleric and AIMPLB member Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali said: “We, have always believed in the judiciary of the country. But today I don’t have to say anything about this verdict. Everyone had witnessed how the Babri mosque was sacrificed in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Even the Supreme Court, in its verdict on November 9, 2019, had acknowledged that the destruction of Babri mosque in Ayodhya was unlawful. Now we will consult among ourselves to chart out the future course of action."
Prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad minced no words in condemning the verdict and favoured a move to challenge it in the higher court. “If all the accused have been acquitted, then who demolished the mosque or if the mosque was not demolished at all?” wondered the Shia cleric.
At the same time, the Muslim litigants who had been a party to the vexed Ram Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit were also left disappointed and accepted the verdict with a heavy heart. “This issue should have been closed down after the Supreme Court verdict on title suit delivered on November 9, last year. There was no point in continuing this legal battle. Everyone knows what happened to the mosque in Ayodhya. It is not hidden. But now since the CBI court has acquitted all, we accept the decision. Is there any choice,” said Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants of the Ayodhya title suit. He had represented his father late Hashim Ansari in Supreme Court.
Similarly, Haji Mehboob, another Ayodhya-based litigant of the title suit resolved to challenge the CBI court decision in the higher court after required confabulations with his lawyers. “It is a joke. Those, who drew credit for the demolition with pride, have been acquitted. Is it right?” he asked.
However, the common Muslim too had the feeling of fait accompli. “We have resigned to what the court has decided. What else can we do? We accepted the Supreme Court order and now this. Don’t have much to say,” says Rizwan Ahmad, a post-graduate student of political science at Lucknow University.
Shazia Siddiqui, a social activist, feels that justice was not done in the case. “No right-thinking citizen of the country would accept today’s verdict. Though I am also a votary of communal harmony and amity this seems blatant,” she said.
However, Faizan, a small vegetable vendor, in his late 50s, believes that the issue was the handiwork of the Congress party. They are responsible for what happened in Ayodhya in 1992. They got the locks opened. They allowed the first shilanyas. It is all because of the Congress,” he observes.
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