Hindu Vivek Kendra

Srikrishna Commission Report
Chapter I

In para 2, the Commission deals with the politics of the Hindu-Muslim issue. The views of the Commission can be summarised as follows: The sense of camaraderie ‘vaporised and vanished with the two-nation theory advocated by Jinnah’. The provisions in the Constitution guaranteeing fundamental rights to the minorities were supposed to subside their feelings of apprehensions. However, they were ‘merely driven deeper into the psyche to fester there and manifest themselves at periodic intervals.’ As a reaction, the special provisions in the Constitution with respect to the minorities ‘brought in its wake a resentment against the minorities on the part of the majority, i.e. the Hindus.’

The Commission should have set out the basis on which it has come to this conclusion. To have done a proper job, it should have asked opinions from various people. The above stated views are the standard excuses being given, and it would appear that the Commission has relied on the opinions of a very small group of people.

On the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, it summarises its view as follows: "Right through the Forties, a section of Hindus started the clamour for "liberalization" of several mosques, which according to them, were temples oppressively converted into mosques during Muslim reign. The Government at the Centre, instead of addressing itself to an acceptable resolution of the issue, dragged its feet, perhaps with the fond hope that the problem would soon disappear if swept under the carpet..... Time and again, the Hindutvawadis (as the Hindu communal parties are popularly called) raised a shrill cry for construction of a temple at Ayodhya at the very place where the Babri Masjid stood, claiming that it was the hallowed place where Lord Shri Ram, the embodiment of all that is Indian, was born. This was, of course, stoutly resisted by the Muslims who refused to give up even an inch....... The issue became contentious and landed itself in the lap of Courts. Thanks to the inevitable judicial delays, the issue smoldered in Courts, till the Nineties when the Bhartiya Janata Party revived it to regain lost political milage. The Rath Yatra Shri L. K Advani, leader of the Bhartiya Janata Party, refocussed attention the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. The inevitable clashes and minor cases of rioting, which took place along the route of the Rath Yatra, as reported by the newspapers, were the distant thunderclaps portending the storm to come....... The vacillating attitude of the Central Government emboldened the sudden installation of the idols of Ram Lalla in the disputed structure and spawned the demand for permission to carry out pooja therein....... The Government of India held rounds of unfruitful talks with the representatives of the Babri Masjid Protection Committee and representatives of the Hindutvawadi parties."

The Commission should have stated on what basis has this been stated. For example, the ‘vacillating attitude’ that is mentioned above refers to that of the Nehru government, since the statues of Ram Lalla appeared in the Babri structure in December 1949. The BJP wanted to put forward its views on the subject to the Commission. It had even got a date for Shri Ram Naik of the BJP to depose before the Commission. However, the Commission cancelled the deposition, since it said it was not going to deal with the issue. Had it heard Shri Naik, it would have found that the VHP had made serious efforts at negotiations, and that these were frustrated not so much by the obscurantist Muslim leadership, but by those who call themselves as secularists.

4 In this para, the Commission has narrated various incidents in Mumbai under the title "Events of 6th December, 1992."

In para 3.1, the Commission says the destruction of the Babri structure, which began at 1230 hours, was not anticipated by the government. In para 2.9, the Commission has said that the first news of the destruction started to come in since 1430 hours. Thus, any event prior to 1430 hours in Mumbai cannot be linked to the destruction.

At 4.2. the Commission talks about a gathering of 155 people at 0010 hours at Ambedkar Garden, Charni Road, and trouble near Bharat Cafe in Chembur at 0045 hours. At page 12, the Action to be Taken Report (ATR) says that Ambedkar Garden is in Chembur (not Charni Road) and the gatherng was an annual event of the Dalits who had come to celebrate Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s death anniversary. The ATR also says that Bharat Cafe is at Ghatkopar and not Chembur, and that there was no record of any incident at the place.

At 4.3, the Commission says that at 1134 hours there was trouble at Lohar Chawl. The ATR also denies the alleged trouble at 1134 hours in Lohar Chawl. In the Vol II of the report, there is no mention of this incident in the details provided on the LT Marg Police Station, where Lohar Chawl is located.

The programme for 1100-1200 hours, mentioned at 4.4, where various meetings took place, was part of an all India programme where those who could not go to do Kar Seva at Ayodhya were asked to gather. It was thus a pre-determined programme and knowledge of the same was available to all concerned.

At 4.5, the Commission says that at 1233 hours, 300/400 people hold a meeting opposite Shiv Mandir, Dadar. This is an event that took place before the news of the destruction of the Babri structure came in.

At 4.6 the Commission says that a crowd is reported near Elphinstone Bridge at 1400 hours. In the details in Vol II of the relevant police station (Bhoiwada), there is no mention of such an incident.

At 4.7, the Commission says that the Babri structure is demolished at 1230 hours and the news of the event is widely publicised by the electronic media. The demolition started at 1230 hours, and was completed around 1700 hours. The first reports in the electronic media came at 1430 hours, as mentioned in para 2.9.

The cycle rally in Dharavi mentioned at 4.8, has a confusing story. The Shiv Sena says that they had taken the permission, but the Commission tries to disprove this. However, the Commission has accepted that the rally was planned by local leaders, and hence not an overall programme for the city. No other event of this type in other places in Mumbai in its report. It has converted the rally as a ‘victory’ rally for the whole city. Although the Commission says that one stone was thrown at a mosque (Vol II, para 10.18, page 51) during the rally, it feels that this was enough provocation for Muslims to act at other places in the city. This event was not reported in any of the newspapers of December 7, clearly indicating that it was of a minor nature.

In Vol I, the time of the rally is given as 1640 hours, while in Vol II it becomes ‘about 4:00 pm". Vol I mentions 200/300 people participated in the rally. Vol II does not mention any number. The news of the destruction of the Babri structure was first available at 1430 hours. One has to stretch one’s imagination that an event of this type could have been organised in such a short time. In Vol II, it is mentioned "That neither the cycle rally nor the meeting (that followed the rally) was held on the spur of the moment, is clear from the fact that a big stage had been prepared at Kala Killa where the meeting was to be held." The issue is not whether police permission was taken, but whether the rally was pre-planned, in which case it cannot be termed as one to celebrate the destruction of the Babri structure and it cannot be termed as a victory rally.

At 4.9, the Commission says that a crowd collected at Imam Wada, Bhendi Bazar in Pydhonie jurisdiction at 1952 hours. In Vol II, the Commission says that the first major incident in this jurisdiction is reported for 2325 hours at Minara masjid, which is reported at 4.14 as happening at 2322 hours.

At 4.11, the Commission says a crowd of Hindutvavadis collected at Jijamata Lane in Byculla jurisdiction at 2042 hours. However, in Vol II there is no mention about the event. Either it was insignificant, in which case it should not have appeared in Vol I, or it did not take place at all. The first incident mentioned in the Byculla jurisdiction is said to have happened on Dec 7 at 1100 hours.

At 4.12, the Commission talks about stone throwing at 2110 hours in Jogeshwari. In Vol II, it says that the first incident was at 1530 hours on January 7.

At 4.13, the Commission says that there is trouble at Kala Killa, Chembur, at 2115 hours. First, the Kala Killa is in Dharavi, and it finds mention in Vol II with respect to the cycle rally, which has been analysed by the Commission in great details. It is also mentioned in 4.8, and the time is 1640 hours.

At 4.14, the Commission says that the crowd of 500 people gathered at 2322 hours near Minara Masjid, became violent, and the police were successful in dispersing it within four minutes. In Vol II, para 23.7, page 131, it is mentioned that the crowd gathered at about 2325 hours. Subsequently it goes into great details of the event covering two pages of the report. It would be difficult to accept that all this happened in a matter of four minutes. In Vol II it says, "The manner in which the crowd was handled by the police displays lack of sensitivity on part of the police." There seems to be no effort of harmonising the two volumes of the report.

At 4.15, the Commission says that there is an attempt at arson in Pydhonie at 2334 hours. Vol II makes no mention of the incident.

At 4.16, the Commission says that at 2344 hours the police fired one round near Minara Masjid, and that 200 people gathered near Mandvi Head Quarters. Both these fall under the Pydhonie police station. In Vol II, there is no mention of either events. In fact, at 4.14, it is stated that the Minara Masjid event was successully dispersed at 2326 hours.

At 4.17, the Commission talks about an incident of stone throwing at Bhendi Bazar at 2352 hours. There is no mention of this event in Vol II.

At 4.18, the Commission says there was stone throwing near Momin Masjid, Mohammed Ali Road at 2350 hours. This incident is not mentioned in Vol II.

At 4.19, the Commission talks about private firing at Bhendi Bazar at 2356 hours. Vol II does not mention the incident. The Commission has consistently tried to dismiss most of the instances of private firing.

At 4.20, the Commission talks about firing and stone throwing in Bhendi Bazar and Dongri at 2358 hours. There is no mention of either incident in Vol II. In fact in Dongri, the first incident is reported for 2345 hours, and there was a mild lathi charge with no injuries.

Out of the 18 incidents reported by the Commission, 4 are not relevant since they happened prior to the news of the destruction of the Babri structure came in. Two of the four find no mention anywhere in Vol II, one was a pre-determined programme that took place all over the country, and the police station of the fourth is not covered in Vol II. Out of the balance 14, eleven incidents find no mention in Vol II. Two are confusing and one cannot be checked from Vol II since the police station is not covered. The objective of the exercise of narrating the incidents by the Commission was to give an indication that there was a spontaneous Muslim reaction. Analysing the information given by the Commission, this conclusion can be easily disproved.

Vol II mentions four incidents that have happened on Dec 6 but have not been included in para 4. In Ghatkopar, at 2200 hours, in two incidents, Muslims attacked Hindus with weapons and damaged temples and property. In Deonar Muslims attacked government property at 2100 hours, and in another incidentg at 2300 hours they attacked the house of a local BJP leader. In the latter incident, two temples and a school were also attacked. Here it is amply clear that the Muslim were violent and organised. Have these incidents been not mentioned because they go against the so-called spontaneous theory of the Commission?

It is pertinent to deal here with a part of the testimony of Shri S K Bapat, the then Commissioner of the Police of Mumbai. He has been one person who has been particularly castigated by the Commission, the media and many pro-Muslim politicians. In Vol II, page 157, para 2.14, the Commission has said: "It appears that the State Government and the police were sold on the theory that the Hindu backlash came on account of the said gruesome incidents. Though Bapat has been quick to point out these incidents in his affidavit, he claimed total ignorance with regard to several equally gruesome incidents in which Muslims were victims, which were put to him in his cross-examination by Shri Muchala. For example, he seemed either not to recollect, or be unaware, of the arson of a timber mart in Ghatkopar jurisdiction on 15th December 1992 resulting in four Muslims being burnt alive, an arson in Goregaon jurisdiction on 20th December 1992 in which one of the Muslims was burnt and killed, of the attack on Muslim hutments in M. P. Mill compound on 2nd January 1993 and large scale arson of Muslim hutments on 4th January 1993 in Mahim jurisdiction and the morcha led by Shiv Sena leaders Shri Ramesh More and Shri Gajanan Kirtikar to Jogeshwari Police Station, en route causing havoc in Chacha Nagar and damaging the Chacha Nagar Masjid, of the arson of a taxi carrying two Muslims which was burnt causing their death on 7th January 1993 in Antop Hill jurisdiction and the Devipada incident in which two Muslim ladies were stripped naked and attacked by a mob and one lady and her uncle were murdered and burnt. There is legitimate grievance made by the Muslims that the memory and information of Shri Bapat is either selective or that he had been selectively fed with only such material to be placed before the Commission as would suit a particular theory being advanced by the State Government and the police."

In Vol II, in the respective police stations, except two, the other five are not mentioned. It is understood that these five were quoted from the Urdu newspapers of the time. The Commission has accepted the word of the counsel for the Muslims, and did not bother to cross-check with the records of the police stations. On the basis of apparently fabricated incidents, the Commission has accused Shri Bapat of bias against the Muslims.

Of the two incidents, in one, a Muslim was injured, and a mosque was attacked. There is no mention about the seriousness of the damage to the mosque. If it was significant, then there would have been details given. It is indeed surprising that the Commission expects a police officer of the stature of a Commissioner to remember minor incidents.

In case of the other incident, in Shri Bapat’s statement as a witness, he clearly narrates the details of it. The Commission has tried to pass blame on Shri Bapat where no blame could be passed. It is difficult to believe that there cannot be anything else but mischievous intent on part of the Commission. Shri Bapat’s comments on this incident is: "I remember this incident because of the gruesome nature of the incident."

To understand the fallacy of the spontaneity theory, it is also necessary to point out that the Commission has accepted that the action to demolish illegal structures and the drive against the criminals were projected as targeted against the Muslims in Nov 92, and the Muslims were provoked to act. This could not have happened unless there were organisations behind the programme.

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