Babri panel wants action against Advani, others

Lucknow, Nov 23 ( The Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) Monday sought action against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and others who it said were to blame for the razing of the Babri mosque.

But the BMAC appeared to be soft to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who too has been reportedly indicted in the Liberhan Commission of Inquiry into the Babri 1992 demolition according to leaked media reports.

“In view of the Liberhan report, it would be pertinent to reopen the criminal charges against Advani and seven others that were dropped by a special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court a few years ago”, BMAC convenor Zafaryab Jilani told mediapersons.

Even as the case was still on, the court had dropped charges of ‘criminal conspiracy’ against eight of the 39 prominent accused, mostly connected to the BJP and allied bodies including Rashtriya Swaymsewak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal.

“Now that the Liberhan Commission had clearly indicted Advani and all others, it would be appropriate for the CBI court to also use the evidence available with the Commission,” he stressed.

Interestingly, Jilani remained on the defensive when a scribe sought his comment on the Liberhan Commission’s allegation about the “dubious” role of certain Muslim organisations including BMAC.

“Since I have not seen the report, I would not like to make any comment on that. But if there is something genuine, I would not hesitate to accept our fault,” he said.

“However, as far as we are concerned, we have been making our appearances before the Commission from day one and I fail to understand what the Commission meant by hinting about our unsatisfactory role.

“As for Vajpayee, personally, I was always convinced that he had as much role in the act as others. In fact, just a day before the demolition, Vajpayee stated at a rally in Lucknow that since the Supreme Court had granted the permission to go up to the disputed site, he would go there to level the ground,” Jilani said.

He hastened to add: “But considering Vajpayee’s age and his infirmities and illness, which may not allow him to present himself before a court, I would like to discuss with my BMAC colleagues as well as with leaders of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) whether it would be appropriate to demand institution of a criminal case against him.”

On the other hand, Jilani was firm about his demand for action against Advani and other BJP leaders for their alleged role in the mosque demolition.

“Advani was the one who was responsible for taking the issue to a high pitch through his ‘rath yatra’; he provoked people through his speeches that vitiated the atmosphere, then he was himself present in front of the mosque from where he supervised the demolition. Therefore, under no circumstances, should he be allowed any escape route,” he said.