Lucknow/New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) Prominent Muslim organisations on Wednesday raised questions over the Babri mosque verdict saying it was 'far from justice' and not only witnesses were ignored but the criminal act was brushed aside too, with the AIMPLB urging the CBI to file an appeal against the judgement.
All the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case, including BJP veterans L K Advani and MM Joshi, were acquitted by a special CBI court in Lucknow which said there was no conclusive proof against them.
In a statement, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) general secretary Wali Rahmani said, 'This judgment is far from justice. It is neither based on evidence, nor is it in accordance with the law.' 'Whatever may be the reasons for the acquittal, but this is also a fact that many of us have seen videos and photos of the demolition. Who all was part of this conspiracy is an open secret,' he said.
'To uphold the rule of law, we urge the CBI to file an appeal,' he added.
The AIMPLB general secretary said Muslims kept faith in the institutions of the country, but many 'events have shaken faith in the temple of democracy and institutions therein'.
Senior lawyer and AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said the verdict would be challenged in the high court.
Other Muslim organisations also came down hard on the judgement and said it was contrary to the observations made by the Supreme Court in its 2019 verdict.
Prominent Muslim body Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind raised questions over the special CBI court decision and asserted that it was contrary to the Supreme Court's 2019 observation that the demolition of the structure was an 'egregious violation of the rule of law'.
Reacting to the development, Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madani said the mosque was demolished in broad daylight and the world witnessed 'under whose patronage the mosque was razed' and who was in power in Uttar Pradesh at that time.
Jamiat general secretary Maualna Mahmood Madani claimed that such a verdict has no parallel in the justice system anywhere.
'While pronouncing the judgment, not only the witnesses were ignored but criminal act of the perpetrators of Babri mosque demolition too was brushed aside,' he alleged.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, in a statement, said the organisation expresses disappointment at the verdict.
'The designated court has acquitted all the accused citing lack of evidence, notwithstanding the fact that just 10 months back the Supreme Court of India had called the demolition a criminal act and a violation of the law,' he said.
How the court arrived at the conclusion that there was no conspiracy to demolish the mosque and that the act was spontaneous and not pre-planned is difficult to understand, he said.
According to Jilani, there were hundreds of statements by the witnesses and in criminal cases these are very important, adding among those who gave their statements were IPS officers and journalists who had said that the accused persons were sitting on the dias and inflammatory speeches were being given.
The special CBI court has given its verdict ignoring the evidence and so Muslims will challenge it in the high court, he said.
He also indicated that the board might also be a party if there is an agreement on this point.
Jilani claimed that when the structure fell down, there was celebration and sweets were distributed but the court was of the view that there was no conspiracy.
There were clear evidences under 153-A (promoting enmity, hatred between different communities), 153-B (assertion prejudicial to national integration) against Advani and others and yet they were acquitted, he further claimed.
When pointed out that it was the CBI which was fighting the case, Jilani said the victims and the witnesses also have the right to appeal but the agency too needs to do so.
'We are victims, several of our people were witnesses in the case. I too was among them,' he said.
He further said that from the Muslims' side both the victims and the witnesses would file appeal.
Another senior member of the board Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said Muslim organisations will sit together and decide if an appeal is to be made against it.
Refusing to comment on the acquittal of all accused, he said, 'I don't have anything to say on the verdict. Everybody knows how the Babri mosque was sacrificed on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya and how all rules were flouted.' In a judgment that ran into 2,300 pages with enclosures, special judge S K Yadav said there was no conclusive evidence against the accused of being involved in any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya.
Delivering the verdict on the day of his retirement, Yadav did not accept newspaper reports and video cassettes as evidence.
The court also observed that the late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal wanted to save the structure because Ram idols were inside.
The 16th century mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992, triggering riots that left hundreds dead in the country and widening rifts between the communities. PTI ASK/SAB ZMN