The mosque that made his career became the mosque that ended his career too. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court restored the charges against Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L K Advani in the Babri Masjid case. This effectively would mean his name would figure much lower in the Presidential race. The Presidential elections are slated for July as the term of Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end.
L K Advani and others could be sentenced to five years in jail if conspiracy charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case is proven. The Supreme Court pointed out that a 25 year pendency in this case was ‘evasion of justice,’ while stating that it would direct the Lucknow court to complete the trial in two years while ordering a day to day hearing.
New Delhi, Dec 22: The focus is back on Ayodhya with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas leaders claiming to revive the movement to construct a Ram Temple. Several stone laden lorries arrived at Ayodhya over the past few days and the two organisations have said that they will speed up the construction work. However the Committee on Babri Masjid has cried foul and says that it is the job of both the Uttar Pradesh state government and the centre to ensure that such activity is stopped immediately as there is a status quo on the site. The convenor the committee, Dr S Q R Ilyas says that there is a status quo order and no activity can take place there.
So much has changed between December 6th 1992 and December 6th 2014. This is a day that is remembered for the demolition of the Babri Masjid and although it will remain in the memories of many for a long time, it would be safe to say that the nation has moved on. I was just out of school when the Babri Masjid was demolished.
In fact I was in Mangalore and after the riots broke out, there was no way I was getting back home. However after a 48 hour ordeal, I managed to get into a jam packed train sit on the foot board for 24 hours and reach Bangalore. A lot of you may remember what the situation was like in the entire country.
Fast forward: Eighteen years later, I found myself at Lucknow right before the High Court. This time around I was there to report the verdict which was being passed after nearly 2 decades. There was enough and more drama that led up to the passing of this verdict. I landed in Lucknow on September 23 2010. The verdict was to be delivered on the same day. As I was leaving for the High Court the news broke that the Supreme Court had deferred the verdict of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. I left Lucknow for Bangalore. However in the next hearing the Supreme Court had cleared the pronouncement of the verdict and I was back in Lucknow on September 30 2010
In this context, Oneindia speaks with Dr SQR Ilyas, the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee and member of the All India Muslim Law Personal Board. In this interview, Dr Ilyas says that the case will go on no matter what as today it has become case between the Muslim Community vs the state and the Centre.
The panic that led to the massive exodus of people from the North Eastern states had a Pakistan hand in it. The proof that India has is good enough, but the bigger point is that Pakistan has managed to replicate what it usually does in its terror campaign against India.
Sources who are part of the investigation tell rediff.com that the cyber campaign by Pakistan against India is exactly like the terror campaign that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba launched against India. The panic campaign which Pakistan launched had an Indian hand as well as some of their well wishers in India helped spread the message and ensured that it reached every corner of the country. The cyber terrorists at Pakistan used the same model that the Lashkar used to spread terror in India. The Lashkar which carried out almost all attacks on Indian soil gradually relied on Indian modules such as SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen to spread terror. What the cyber army did in Pakistan was use Indian accounts on social media sites and also some websites to spread the panic across India.
The Indian investigator’s report shows that morphed images were used and pictures and messages were uploaded through 70 sites. In addition to this, bulk messages were also sent to add to the panic.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that free wheelers in Pakistan with the support of the establishment have used the cyber space to attack developing nations like India. This was a campaign that was launched a decade ago and continues unabated till date. Pakistan tends to call these people as non state actors but we are convinced that they enjoy the support of the establishment. Creating discord and panic while disturbing communal harmony has been top on their agenda.
In the latest probe it has been found that Pakistan has been trying to create assets in India like they did with the SIMI and the IM. When the images and the messages originated out of Pakistan, there were many modules in India that grabbed this and blindly circulated it thus leading to the panic. The fact that this material was being created since July itself shows that it was a well planned operation. The Pakistan cyber army has been told to hunt for home grown modules in India. The Home grown cyber modules act as carriers of the propaganda which makes the job easier. It was also found during the agitation that many local leaders used this propaganda to fuel tensions and not to mention the scores of so called activists who blindly passed on this information without checking the veracity of the messages.
Sources say that this is probably one of the first campaigns online that Pakistan has attempted and suceeded. Although the cyber armies in Pakistan have often defaced Indian websites, this is the first time they are attempting to replicate the Lashkar module by using home grown modules to further terror.
India needs to be extremely watchful of this new tactic since the web could be a highly dangerous space as it is largely not monitored. The cyber groups in Pakistan will continue to lure many in India to create fake profiles and pages so that in the years to come they could spread panic and terror which would emerge out of the Indian servers, just the way it was done with the Indian Mujahideen. Pakistan would want even cyber terror to become self sufficient like the other form of terrorism, IB officials also say.
They are aware that creating such assets or modules in India could help them a great deal as they always want to ensure that there is panic in India but no finger should be pointed at them.
This art of false propaganda is not something new for Pakistan. Today it is happening on the web space while a 15 years back it was through pamphlets and later compact discs. Post Babri masjid and also Godhra, the Indian agencies had found loads of such pamphlets and CDs in Kashmir which contained morphed images and false messages. On verifying it was found that most of them were fake aimed at brain washing the you to take up arms against India. Ironically such material is still available online and also with some persons who subscribe to Pakistan’s version of Jihad.
The probe has further found that all through knowing fully well that the Assam conflict was an ethnic one, they tried to colour it communal. Further they also wanted some right wing groups to retaliate which would mean that there would be more panic. Irresponsible statements by some politicians, the enthusiasm by some activists, sensationalism by the media, Pakistan’s own capabilities on the web and lastly the fact that sympathisers bit the bait were all factors which went into the planning and execution of this huge plan which dispaced lakhs of people especially from the North Eastern states, the probe also reveals.
On Februray 4th the Government of India is expected to re-impose the ban on the Student’s Islamic Movement of India. And this time around the SIMI chief has made it clear that he will not fight the ban before the tribunal.
The ban in all probability will be re-imposed as the Law Ministry of India has okayed the same. The matter had gone up before the law ministry for an opinion and the Ministry stated that there is no objection for the ban to be re-imposed this time too. On Februray 4th the order will need to be re-issued as two years have been completed.
Dr. Shahid Badr Falahi who was the Chief of the SIMI when the ban was imposed in the year 2001 says there is no justice remaining at all. Hence there is no point. I going up before the tribunal. Once this ban is re-imposed another tribunal will be constituted for a period of 6 months. The same old arguments and counter arguments will take place.
However the reason why I have decided not to appear before the tribunal and fight the ban is because the government really does not seem to care. Remember in the year 2008 when the tribunal ordered the ban to be lifted, the government instead of honouring the same decided not to implement the order. Instead it challenged it and obtained a stay before the Supreme Court of India.
I know once the tribunal is constituted I would be the first person to get a notice. There will be others too in various parts of the country who will get a notice too. I am not stopping them from going before the tribunal, but I have made up my mind not to.
The SIMI will continue the fight before the Supreme Court of India. We hope to get justice over there, hopefully.
However there is one thing for sure and that is our lives will not change even if we are cleared. Our phones are monitored all the time and everything that I say is always misconstrued. Before the Babri Masjid verdict was passed, I had to go furnish a bond and affidavit in which I had to swear that I would cause no trouble. I and many others are always under the scrutiny of local authorities and in case of any attack or blast we are the first ones to be suspected.
Any tour or travel is something impossible as it is said that I am on a mission to re-group or collect funds. Once I was asked in Court how – managed my legal fees and when I said we get donations some other meaning to it was taken.
There are many innocents who are in jail as they wre part of SIMI. We cannot even help them as it is once again mis understood as regrouping.
The Supreme Court of India will constitute a special Bench to hear the contreversial Ayodhya case by the end of September following which full fledged hearing of the case would begin.
Dr S Q R Ilyas, convenor of the Committee on Babri Masjid informed that there are some procedural delays at the moment and the court would resume hearing from the end of September onwards. He said that there have been attempts made to go in for an out of court settlement in the past, but that question does not arise at the moment. The matter will have to be decided by the Supreme Court. The last chance of an out of court settlement was made prior to the verdict of the high court, but as of now no such chance arises he said.
While there is status quo at the disputed site today, the Supreme Court has sought details of the case. The Muslim board has filed 8 appeals in all of which 5 have been admitted and three are under process. Further the Supreme Court has also directed the high court to submit all the records which run into 29000 pages apart from the judgment which itself runs into 8000 pages.
However the real delay in the hearing commencing is being caused due to the 1500 pages of documents which are in different languages including Persian. The court has sought for the translation of these documents. If the Supreme Court is allowed to undertake the translation work through its offices, then there is a chance of the case further delaying. Hence the parties have agreed to undertake this work on their own so that the hearing commences earlier, Dr Ilyas also informed.
Yesterday the agencies which are investigating the blasts said that the incident could have been the handiwork of smaller groups and the operation was carried out by 6 to 10 persons.
The question that needs to be asked if this has marked the end of bigger outfits in India and will fringe operations such as these be carried out by self motivated groups. Assembling a bomb, planning the attack and executing it has become as easy as ABC. The bigger outfits are easier to curtail when compared to these smaller groups, the Intelligence Bureau points out. Bigger outfits execute operations on a larger scale and there is always a lot of planning that goes into such an operation. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba which is very meticulous in its planning stood completely exposed post 26/11 and this was largely because several intercepts were picked up thanks to the operatives communicating over phone and also sharing emails. Moreover such outfits apart from causing a great deal of damage also have message to send out after these blasts. The messages are always on a large scale and would deal largely with the ties between two countries. Hence at some level they would want to announce that they are the masters of a particular attack. The case of the Indian Mujahideen was the same and after each attack they raised volatile issues such as the Gujarat riots or the Babri masjid demolition trying to indicate that they are the saviours of the community in India.
This is however not the case with smaller groups. They believe in a quick fire operation. All they look for is some destruction with an intention of satisfying their egos. There is always a set of disgruntled youth who want to take revenge on the police for some arrests made. It has become a cat and mouse game for them and the message is clear, “ you pick up our men, we will hit back.” There is no larger political or ideological agenda in their attacks. Apart from seeking revenge they also want to expose the vulnerability of the security appratus which in turn causes a great deal of embrassment for the police.
Smaller groups are also aware that they are not on the Intelligence radar and hence their movements are not restricted. There is no previous record on these men which only makes the job easier for them. They have easy access to the material and hence preparing a bomb too becomes very easy for them.
This is a growing risk for us security experts say. What can anyone possibly do if a group of five persons plan this attack in their house and then come and plant the bomb. They have not used mobile phones or emails which again makes it next to impossible to track them. These people are not even taking orders from anyone and such operations are planned without the approval of any large force. Experts say this is the main reason why the police continue to grope in the dark. It could be a small group which subscribes to the ideology of the Indian Mujahideen or another group from the second rung of the underworld trying to put terror groups out of business. It is very hard to tell in the absence of any record or dossier on such persons. There are few 100 such persons in the country who could carry out a strike of this nature at will and this without a doubt is becoming a major security threat. Intelligence alone will not help solve this problem since it is difficult to pick up intercepts on such operations. Constant monitoring of crowded places and proper security measures such as better policing and more CCTVs is what will provide a solution in dealing with such fringe groups who carry out strikes at will.