Several Opposition parties including the Congress, TMC and Left slammed Wednesday’s verdict acquitting all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition conspiracy case, and called for appeal. However, some Opposition parties, especially from the Hindi belt, maintained silence on the matter.
“The decision of the special court to acquit all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to Supreme Court judgment as also the Constitutional spirit. The SC in its judgment dated November 9, 2019 pronounced by five judges clearly held demolition of Babri Masjid as a clear illegality and ‘egregious violation of the rule of law’. But the special court exonerated all the accused,” Congress communication department in charge Randeep Surjewala said.
While senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not comment, Surjewala said the “entire country (had) witnessed a deep-rooted political conspiracy by BJP-RSS and its leaders to destroy the country’s communal amity and brotherhood for usurping power at any cost”.
“Every Indian, who has innate faith in the Constitution as also in the spirit of communal amity and brotherhood, expects and urges the central and state governments to file an appeal against the decision of the special court…”
The TMC termed the verdict disappointing. “A masjid is the mark of the country’s secular fabric. It was demolished in the presence of thousands of people… The court said it was not pre-planned,” TMC MP Sougata Roy said. “All verdicts in the court of law are going in favour of the BJP-led central government… I hope the Muslim personal board appeals.”
The CPM and CPI said the verdict amounts to a “travesty of justice”. While the CPM said the judgment will “blemish the image of India as a secular-democratic country governed by the Constitution” and asked the CBI to appeal against it, CPI general secretary D Raja said the verdict is an “assault on the functioning of an independent institution as the Supreme Court has earlier in a verdict termed the demolition as an illegal and criminal act”.
Calling it “obnoxious”, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the judgment “satisfies the collective consciousness of Hindutva and its followers”. The IUML termed it as “unfortunate”, and DMK chief M K Stalin alleged the CBI failed to act fairly.
While the NCP said the verdict was on expected lines, Shiv Sena lauded it. “The entire country and all Hindus were hoping for this verdict,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
Maharashtra NCP minister Nawab Malik said, “There were photos taken and videos captured. There is content available on YouTube. But the court has given its verdict and we respect it.”
Other Opposition parties, especially those from the Hindi heartland, maintained silence. SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, BSP’s Mayawati and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav took to Twitter to attack the UP government over the Hathras incident but did not comment on the Babri verdict.
Tejashwi’s silence is more intriguing given the fact that it was his father Lalu Prasad who, as Bihar CM, had stopped Advani’s rath yatra in October 1990 and ordered his arrest. —With inputs from PTI
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines