Chidambaram appeals for peace ahead of Ayodhya verdict (Lead)September 22nd, 2010 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday made a passionate appeal for peace in the country ahead of the Sep 24 verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi dispute that polarised the nation in the early 1990s and sparked widespread riots.
The four title suits — to which the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court will deliver the verdict Friday — contain a “number of issues” to be settled, the minister said at a press conference.
He spoke at length over the “circumstances and the context in which the judgment must be received and understood” by the general public.
“The issues,” the home minister stressed, “involve complicated questions of fact and law.”
He said it was possible that there would be “one or more judgments delivered by the three-judge special bench” of the Allahabad High Court.
“The judgments would have to be read carefully, and the findings of the judges on each of the issues in the four suits would have to be analysed meticulously, before any conclusions may be drawn,” he said.
Stressing on the need to maintain peace ahead of the verdict, the home minister said: “It would be inappropriate to reach any hasty conclusion that one side has won or that the other side has lost.
“I would, therefore, appeal to all the parties to the suits as well as the general public and the media to reserve their opinions on the judgment or judgments of the Special Bench and not make any hasty pronouncements.”
He said the general public needed to receive the verdict of the court “as the culmination of the legal process that deserves our respect and acceptance”.
Chidambaram also maintained that the judgment was not an end in itself.
“Parties to the suits can study the judgment or judgments and ponder over the next steps. It would be reasonable to assume that one or both sides would immediately apply to the special bench of the high court for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on the issues that either side may think have been decided against it.”
He expressed satisfaction that many organisations, including those connected with the parties to the suits, have appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm in the wake of the judgment.
“Apart from making an appeal for peace, it is the duty of all organisations concerned to actively work to maintain the peace. All organisations must urge their members not to spread rumours or make provocative statements,” he said.
Chidambaram put the onus of maintaining peace on the state governments asking them to activate peace committees and urge such committees to maintain the utmost vigil and defuse any situation when there is the first sign of trouble.
“It is the government’s earnest hope that all sections of the people will cooperate with the government in maintaining peace, order, harmony and tranquillity.”
The demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992 by Hindu radicals who believed that the mosque was built on the birthplace of Lord Ram had triggered nationwide riots.
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Tags: allahabad high court, babri masjid, bench, circumstances, complicated questions, conclusions, culmination, early 1990s, hasty conclusion, home minister, judgment, judgments, New Delhi, p chidambaram, passionate appeal, peace in the country, pronouncements, riots, suits, supreme court