Plaintiff’s retraction won’t affect Babri case: Azam Khan

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LUCKNOW:  Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan on Thursday said the Babri Masjid case would not be affected by the withdrawal from the case of 92-year-old plaintiff Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest surviving litigant.

Mr. Khan said if any member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, or any person pursuing the Babri case, were to withdraw from the legal proceedings, it “will have no impact on the case”.

Mr. Khan said the context of the Babri Masjid case was such that an “Allah ka banda [a random citizen]” from the 125-crore strong population of the country would “definitely be found” for pursuing the case.

In a statement on Thursday, the Minister said he was not aware of the reasons behind Mr. Ansari’s anger towards him. Rather, he said, he smelt a rat in Mr. Ansari’s angry withdrawal from the case.

“There must be some background to his anger, otherwise how is it possible for him to become angry all of a sudden and pull back his steps,” Mr. Khan said.

Mr. Ansari is reported to have expressed his anger over politicisation of the issue by Muslim leaders. Mr. Ansari reportedly also expressed dismay at being ignored by the Muslim leaders. The 92-year-old reportedly stated that he wanted “Ram Lalla [young Lord Ram]” to be free.

Mr. Ansari attacked Mr. Azam Khan for allegedly misleading the Muslims, who, he said, sought a peaceful solution in the wake of the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court.
Out-of-court settlement

According to reports, Mr. Ansari said he was even ready for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an out-of-court settlement. Meanwhile, Mr. Ansari’s eldest son, Iqbal, has reportedly claimed that he had been given the power of attorney by his father to pursue the Babri case.

Mr. Ansari, who resides in Faizabad and has been pursuing the Babri Masjid case for the last 65 years, has been ailing for some time. He was, however, made a party to the dispute only in 1961 in connection with the suit filed by the U.P. Sunni Central Board of Waqf in a representative capacity on December 18, 1961. This suit was filed in the court of Civil Judge, Faizabad.

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