In the light of amicus curiae findings that Narendra Modi can be prosecuted for his role in Gujarat massacre and CBI conspiracy charge against L.K. Advani in Babri Masjid demolition case, DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI sees tightening of the noose round the necks of these two Saffron stalwarts.
Both have sown wind in the past. They are now likely to reap the whirlwind in the near or distant future. Personages of the same ilk, both Mr. L.K. Advani and Mr. Narendra Modi tried their level best to insulate themselves from the reach of law, which they had brazenly broken during their heyday. But the retribution of Time appears to have caught them up. Providence fulfils Himself in the strangest way.
When Mr. Advani was Deputy-Prime Minister and had Home portfolio during the NDA-led regime, he had done whatever he could to neutralise the conspiracy charge against him. The kar sevaks who, under his manifest inspiration, had broken down the Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992, publicly protested against this immoral and illegal exercise of self-exoneration. But the ghost of 550-year old shrine, like the proverbial Sphinx, has risen from the ashes.
Mr. Modi received a big shot in the arm when the Supreme Court-appointed SIT absolved him and found no evidence strong enough to prove his guilt.
But the case of the amicus curiae is different. The reading of Mr. Raju Ramachandran is Mr. Narendra Modi can be prosecuted against under Sections 153 A (1) (a) & (b) (statements promoting enmity between communities), 153B (1) (c) (imputation and assertions prejudicial to national interest), 166 (public servant disobeying a direction of the law with intent to cause injury) and 505(2) (statement conducting to public mischief) of the IPC.
In his report, to quote The Hindu, Mr. Ramachandran strongly disagreed with a key conclusion of the R.K. Raghavan-led SIT that IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was not present at a late-night meeting of top Gujarat cops held at the Chief Minister’s residence in the wake of the Feb 27, 2002 Godhra carnage. It has been Mr. Bhatt’s claim – made in an affidavit before the apex court and in statements to the SIT and the amicus curiae – that he was present at the meeting where Mr. Modi allegedly said Hindus must be allowed to carry out retaliatory violence against Muslims.
He said there was no clinching material available in the pre-trial stage to disbelieve Mr. Bhatt, whose claim could be tested only in court. “Hence, it cannot be said, at this stage, that Shri Bhatt should be disbelieved and no further proceedings should be taken against Shri Modi.”
According to commonsense, the Nero of Gujarat – to borrow the words of a Supreme Court Judge – should have been tried for planned genocide. The Sections mentioned above are usually applied on the less-than-responsible orators and untrained media persons. These Sections are not meant for the alleged organisers of the broad daylight assassinations.
How is it that the valiant Mr. Sanjiv Bhatt, the suspended IPS officer, is the only key witness to the Modi-inspired bloodbath? Let the SIT itself reinvestigate the case for a dispassionate second look at this political Natwarlal. We are not sure whether the Supreme Court would mind instructing the SIT to do the same. Several Hindu brethren have profusely spoken on the subject, of course off the camera.
As far as Mr. Advani is concerned, he had assiduously woven the web, which is now threatening to tighten around his long neck. Now the CBI feels the unrepentant Saffron stalwart, who had taken pride in the sustained campaigning for the ultimate templisation of the said mosque, should face the conspiracy charge.
What is noteworthy is that Mr. Advani usually uses the word ‘movement’ for his Somnath-Ayodhya rath yatra, which had allegedly claimed thousands of lives of the unarmed minority persons in the urban as well as rural Bharat. He has never concealed his subdued glee on the national tragedy during the enactment of which he regularly maintained that templisation of the mosque would bring Hindus and Muslims closer.
To put the whole thing in perspective for a proper appreciation, let us recall that two FIRs were registered on the day of destruction of the mosque, one against the unnamed kar sevaks and the other against Mr. Advani and seven others.
On December 12, the CBI took over the investigation. On October 5, 1993, the CBI filed chargesheet in the two cases against 40 persons, including Mr. Advani before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.
On April 24, 1994, the case was committed to the Sessions court for trial.
On February 12, 2001, the Allahabad High Court said the case for framing charges has been made out.
On May 4, 2001, the Lucknow Bench dropped proceedings against Mr. Advani and several others. The cases were dropped also against 13 others, including Mr. Bal Thackeray and Mr. Kalyan Singh.
On September 19, 2003, the Special Magistrate, Rai Bareilly discharged Mr. Advani, but ordered framing of charges against seven others.
On July 6, 2005, the Supreme Court ordered framing of charges against all the accused and the Bareilly court framed charges.
On May 20, 2011, the Supreme Court dismissed the CBI plea against the separation of trial between two FIRs of 1992 as also dropping conspiracy charge against Mr. Advani.
On 20/11, the CBI appealed against the High Court order.
On March 20, 2012, the CBI filed an affidavit saying it is not possible to separate the trial in two FIRs.
To quote Mr. Dhananjay Mahapatra (Times of India): “The investigations by CBI had disclosed that there was a single larger conspiracy to demolish the disputed structure on December 12, 1992 and various accused so charged in the consolidated chargesheet in all the 49 cases played their own roles in achieving the object of the said criminal conspiracy.”
On Advani’s role, the CBI said, “Before the demolition started and during the course of demolition, various accused including the eight named in the FIR of crime no. 198/92, made provocative slogans from the manch causing the assembly to turn unlawful resulting in rioting and storming of the structure by the kar sevaks.