New Delhi: The Babri Masjid was destroyed by the ‘Hindu Taliban” just like the demolition of the Buddha statue by the Taliban at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, a litigant in the Ayodhya temple-mosque land dispute case told the Supreme Court.
“No law or the Constitution allows destruction of religious structures of any faith,” senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the legal heirs of M Siddiq, the original litigant who died, told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
Dhavan also questioned the locus of the Shia Central Waqf Board in the case.
His comments came after the Shia board told the bench that it was willing to donate one-third of the disputed land, which the Allahabad High Court had given to the Muslims, to the Hindu group for “peace, harmony, unity and integrity” in this great country.
The counsel for the Shia Central Waqf Board said they were the claimants of the Muslim share of land at the disputed Ayodhya site, as the Babri Masjid was built by Mir Baki, a Shia Muslim.
“It is a fundamental issue. The Shia Central Waqf Board has decided that for the unity, integrity, peace and harmony of the country, we want to donate the one-third part of land to the Hindu group,” the lawyer said.
Dhavan, who initially said he would not respond to innuendos, later countered the Shia board’s submissions and said it was way back in 1946 that the Babri Masjid was held to be a Sunni mosque.
“You cannot argue that this (demolition of mosque) was by some miscreants,” he said, adding, “What had happened in 1992? The Bamiyan statue was destroyed by the Taliban and this mosque was destroyed by Hindu Taliban. It cannot be done. It should not have been done. No one can do this”.
He argued that those who destroyed the mosque should be barred from making any claim since “no one has the right to destroy a mosque or any other religious structures”.
“The simple argument is that the fact that a mosque is destroyed does not conclude the argument of right to prayer,” he said.
Dhavan said the Shia board’s argument that it wanted to donate a share of the land to the Hindu group was like “indulging in a non-existent act of charity”.
He also questioned the “intervention” of an Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who was appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, in the matter and said that arguments by the law officer were “uncalled” for.
On July 6, the UP government had told the apex court that some Muslim groups were trying to delay the hearing in the “long-pending” land dispute case by seeking reconsideration of an observation in the 1994 verdict in M Ismail Faruqui case that a mosque was not integral to Islam.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.
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