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Will probe source of funds for Ayodhya movement: PC

December 10, 2009 21:27 IST

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said chargesheets against those connected with the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, would be re-visited and the sources of huge funds for the movement would be probed.

"We will have to examine whether chargesheets are complete, whether to re-visit them," he said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a two-day debate on the findings of the Liberhan Commission on the demolition of the Babri Masjid 17 years ago.

Noting that there were three cases pending before the court, Chidambaram said in case the chargesheets were inadequate in terms of persons named, they would be revisited.

Marked by frequent interruptions by Bharatiya Janata Party members, he said the government would also examine the source of large money received for the 'conspiracy' which led to the demolition of the disputed structure.

"We would have to examine what action, if any, should be taken, can be taken against people who collected money, transferred money, whose money was it and was it accounted for," he said.

The home minister said the Central Bureau of Investigation has collected a lot of evidence in these cases, which have a chequered history.

Quoting from the findings of the Liberhan Commission, Chidambaram said the main issue was who demolished the structure and whether the panel was able to pinpoint the responsibility for the same to Sangh Parivar.

The behaviour of the Sangh Parivar on December 6 cannot be accepted in a democracy, he said, amid interruptions by BJP members, mainly Vinay Katiyar, who was warned by Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan not to disrupt the proceedings.

Responding to charges that the government's Action Taken Report was tepid, he said it depended on the kind of recommendations in the report. But the government has fulfilled its obligations, he said. Noting that 2,019 persons were killed and 7,786 injured in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, he said the country had paid a very heavy price.

The demolition was followed by communal riots and the Mumbai bomb blasts, he said. "We paid a very heavy price," he said, adding, "the consequences are felt even today". At this point, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said the same argument was advanced by 'Pakistani agents as also Dawood Ibrahim'.

Naidu asked why the Congress should not be held similarly responsible for 26/11 (Mumbai terror attacks) and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, amidst clashes between the BJP and the Treasury benches.

Chidambaram said the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh had given an assurance, before the National Integration Council as also the Supreme Court, that the entire responsibility of the protection of the structure was of the state government.

He said it was Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley, who was representing the then state government, who submitted before the apex court that the structure would be protected. However, Jaitley contested Chidambaram's argument, stating that his plea in the court did not cover the entire structure.

The home minister said the Liberhan panel had found that in the "family of organisations which directed the movement (Ayodhya), the largest constituent was the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh".

"If these findings were not correct, then someone should have challenged them. But nobody has done so," he said.

The Commission also recorded the admissions by Mahant Paramhas Ramchandra Das, one of the leaders of the movement, who told the kar sevaks "demolish the structure, you will not get such an opportunity", Chidamabaram said.

Towards the fag end of his over hour-long reply, the House saw heated arguments between Chidambaram and Jaitley on religion. Both are eminent lawyers. Chidambaram said the idea of a majority community could be based on ideology and politics, but not religion. He said majority based on religion would be a 'step short of xenophobia'.

Contesting the argument, Jaitley said he never supported discrimination against the minority community, but vote bank politics, as followed by the Congress, was not their policy. With the reply of the home minister, a stormy debate on the Liberhan Commission ended in Parliament.

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