Babri case can’t be decided on ‘aastha’, says Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has said that the title suit of the Babri Masjid can be decided only on the basis of evidence and not on ‘aastha’ (faith) as the Sangh Parivar is demanding.

Addressing a public meeting here on Sunday, he voiced his apprehension that the Sangh Parivar might vitiate the atmosphere in the country on the issue before the 2019 elections to gain political mileage.

The Member of Parliament condemned the statements by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders that the construction of the Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya will begin on October 18, 2018.

Owaisi wondered how they could make such a statement when the title suit was still pending in the Supreme Court.

He said such attempts could repeat the violence and bloodshed witnessed in the country in the 1990s during BJP leader L.K. Advani’s Rath Yatra and after the demolition of the Babri mosque. He warned that this could weaken the country.

The public meeting was organised by the Joint Action Committee comprising various Muslim organisations just days ahead of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the mosque on December 6.

In 1992, on that date, a large number of religious volunteers or “Kar Sevaks” gathered in the temple town and demolished the 16th century structure, leading to widespread rioting and political crisis.

Taking strong exception to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that only a temple could be built in Ayodhya, Owaisi said: “Muslims would not be cowed down by such threats.”

“What is pending in the Supreme Court is title suit, which will be decided purely on evidence and not an aastha,” he said.

Owaisi said Babri Masjid was not the issue of Muslims but an issue linked to secularism. “This is an issue which will decide the course of this country,” he said.

The MP said he supports Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan’s suggestion that the title suit should not be taken up for hearing till the criminal case relating to the demolition of the mosque was disposed off.

Owaisi also quoted former Chief Justice A.M. Ahmedi reportedly saying that had Justice Venkata Challaiah not permitted Kar Seva, it would not have led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

He said even 25 years after the demolition, the contempt of court case had not come up for hearing in the apex court.

The MIM president alleged that the BJP is returning to its real agenda as it has failed to provide jobs to the unemployed and demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax has hit the people and dealt a blow to the economy.

Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jeelani said it was not an issue of “aastha” but of the political interests of some communal groups. He recalled that even the FIR registered in 1949 states that idols were stealthily kept in the mosque.

He said some elements tried to spread the falsehood that it was the birthplace of Ramchanderji (Lord Ram) but this has nothing to do with facts.

The speakers called up on Muslims to peacefully observe the shutdown on December 6 to demand reconstruction of the mosque at its original place.