Lucknow, June 8: The five accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case who yesterday took on top BJP leaders are a disparate lot, but they are united by a feeling of “injustice”.
“It’s not politics but a sense of injustice that made us speak out,” said R.. Das, one of the five who accused deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani, human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi and other senior BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders of instigating them on December 6, 1992.
Das, along with Santosh Dubey, Vinod Vatsa, R.C. Khatri and Amar Nath Goyal, is one of the 26 accused facing trial in case No. 197 in the Lucknow special court.
One of the priests at the Ram Lala Sthal, the sanctum sanctorum where Ram’s idol was placed inside the mosque before its demolition, Das said: “I was a witness to a meeting held by Advani and others in Ram Katha Sangrahalaya on December 5 night”.
“Later the same night, officials supplied more than 100 belcha (sharp-edged iron rods) and gaiti (pointed spades for digging the floor) to the demolition squads,” he said.
Like Das, Hindu Shiva Sena president Dubey; Vatsa, office-bearer of the Shiv Sena in Haryana; Khatri, a businessman from Punjab and Goyal, a schoolteacher from Madhya Pradesh, too, feel betrayed.
The special court’s discharge of Advani and 20 other accused in case No. 198 from the joint trial of case No. 197 and 198 was the first spark to displease the five. “These leaders, who first incited us to demolish the structure and are now trying to wash their hands of the affair, are traitors of the Hindu community,” Das said.
“Lakhs of Hindu youths from different political persuasions made sacrifices for the Ayodhya movement. But while BJP and VHP leaders enjoy the pomp and perks of power, ordinary kar sevaks like us have been left to face the music,” Dubey said.
Vatsa echoed Dubey. “Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and others, who enjoy Z-category security cover, have not attended a single hearing of the case. But an ordinary accused like me, who has been targeted by the ISI, is at the mercy of a sub-inspector and a head constable during our visits to the state capital for hearing,” he said.
The second spark for the five’s displeasure came yesterday when the CBI’s lawyer sought immediate trial of the six accused present in the court after the special court fixed July 19 to hear an application seeking suspension of their trial, as a petition for joint trial of all accused in one place was pending in the high court.
“This proved to be the last straw and we decided to hit out against Advani and other top BJP and VHP leaders and expose the injustice,” Das said.