Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The almost defunct All India Babri Masjid Action Committee is now planning to reorganise itself after a meeting planned to take place here on December 6 marking 17 years of government and judicial inaction on the criminal cases that were registered after the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The Committee is expected to take a view on the Liberhan Commission report related to the demolition now tabled in Parliament.

President of the Committee, Jawed Habeeb, has said that after the “black day,” those accused of the act that was calculated to inflict irreparable damage on Hindu-Muslim relations in the country and which resulted in simultaneous riots in several States were moving about freely without being punished. He demanded, as recommended by the Liberhan report and accepted by the government, that the cases be expedited. He said the verdict must be given within a fixed time frame and, if necessary, Parliament should enact a special law for this.

He pointed out that the kin of the thousands who died in riots that followed the demolition, and, earlier, after opening of the locks of the Masjid to allow Hindus to worship, had not been given compensation. The victims and the next-of-kin of those who died, including those of the Gujarat 2002 riots, should be given a special package as had been done for those who were at the receiving end of the anti-Sikh riots.

Mr. Habeeb said that while the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA, which has since been repealed) was applied to the accused in the 1993 Mumbai blast cases — since then 12 have been sentenced to death and 20 a life sentence — the draconian act was not applied to those who brought down the Babri Masjid in broad daylight, and in fact the cases have hardly progressed at all.

Mr. Habeeb told The Hindu that in fact he had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on these matters two years ago, but did not get a response.

The All India Babri Masjid Action Committee last met on 8 February 2008 and before that it had not met since July 1995. There is an effort to revive it now. The demand is “justice”.