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October 1, 2020

Pakistan slams ‘shameful acquittal’ of Babri Mosque demolition culprits

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October 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD/ NEW DELHI: Pakistan has strongly condemned the shameful acquittal of the culprits involved in the demolition of India’s centuries-old Babri Masjid in 1992, saying that Hindutva-inspired Indian judiciary miserably failed to deliver the justice again.

An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders of conspiracy related to the mob demolition of the 16th century mosque that sparked communal riots which left more than 2,000 dead.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office in a statement said: “Taking almost three decades to decide on the criminal act which was televised live and happened as a result of well-planned Rath Yatras and on the instigation to mobs by the accused BJP, VHP and other leaders of Sangh Parivar, tells the world that the Hindutva-inspired Indian judiciary miserably failed to deliver the justice again.”

“If there was a semblance of justice in the so-called largest ‘democracy’, the individuals, who had boasted of the criminal act publicly, could not have been set free, the statement added. “This is yet another manifestation of the pliant judiciary under the extremist BJP-RSS regime in which extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology takes precedence over all principles of justice and international norms,” the statement remarked.

A wrong direction was earlier set by the Indian Supreme Court’s partisan verdict last year by handing over the Babri Masjid premises for building of Ram Mandir to the very Hindu parties which had demolished the historic mosque, it added. “The acquittal today is even against that verdict which had noted that the demolition was “an egregious violation of rule of law,” the statement remarked.

“These reprehensible developments with state complicity, coupled with RSS-BJP’s deep-rooted hatred against minorities, particularly Muslims, point to India’s fast descent into a Hindu Rashtra, where minorities have been relegated as second class citizens. Willful targeting of Muslims is rampant in today’s India—ranging from efforts to disenfranchise Muslims under anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the looming National Register of Citizens (NRC), and a well-organised and orchestrated pogrom of Muslims in New Delhi with state complicity in February this year, to other anti-Muslim measures like demonising, dispossessing, marginalising and subjecting Muslims to targeted violence,” the statement said. “The BJP-RSS anti-Muslim agenda is most visible in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) which remains under continued military siege and the BJP continues to implement its sinister policies to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory,” it added.

The statement said the RSS-BJP regime and the Sangh Parivar were responsible for the continued desecration and demolition of mosques in India in an organised manner as they did during the Gujarat massacre of 2002 and Delhi pogrom in 2020.“The attacks by Hindu zealots on places of worship of Muslims have continued even during the Covid-19 pandemic. Emboldened by the flawed Ayodhya verdict, Hindu zealots supported by their RSS-patrons in power, are now seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah Masjid located next to Krishna Temple in Mathura as well as to give ownership of the entire 13.37 acres of land to the Krishna Temple complex,” it said.

“Pakistan urges the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship and other Islamic sites on which the Hindu extremists and zealots have laid claims,” the statement stressed.

“The world community, the United Nations and relevant international organisations are expected to play their role in safeguarding the Islamic heritage sites in India from the extremist Hindutva regime and ensure protection of religious rights of minorities in India,” it added.

Tens of thousands of supporters of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other Hindu extremist groups, armed with pick-axes and spades, tore down the 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 to pave the way for a temple.

The mob was led by top BJP leaders, including India’s former deputy prime minister Lal Krishna Advani and former party president Murli Manohar Joshi.

They were later accused of conspiring to destroy the mosque, with more than 30 BJP leaders facing charges of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and inciting the mob. But a special court sitting in the northern city of Lucknow said on Wednesday the prosecution had failed to prove their guilt.

“Anti-social elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people,” the judge said as he announced the verdict.

“The audio of the speeches were also not clear. All accused are acquitted.”

Devout Hindus believe Lord Ram, the warrior god, was born in Ayodhya some 7,000 years ago but that the mosque—built during the time of Mughal ruler Babar—was constructed on top of his birthplace.