Tuesday, December 4, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Govt to ensure status quo
Advani condemns Ayodhya incident
Tribune News Service and agencies

New Delhi, December 3
Condemning the October 17 forcible entry by VHP activists into the makeshift temple at Ayodhya, Home Minister L.K. Advani tonight assured the Lok Sabha that the Centre would not allow any violation of the status quo at the disputed site and would ensure the implementation of court orders.

Mr Advani also told the House that to prevent any attempt to defy the police cordon at the Ayodhya site in future the Uttar Pradesh Government had stepped up security and clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC.

"The government will not allow any addition or alteration or structural changes at the disputed site," he said in reply to a nearly five-hour debate on the October 17 incident which involved VHP leader Ashok Singhal and other activists.

Asserting that the Ayodhya movement had led to the strengthening of "cultural nationalism", he rejected the Opposition charge that it had stirred communal passions, while describing demoli.

Earlier, a united opposition today lambasted the Government for lapse in security at the makeshift shrine site and charged it with igniting the controversy with an eye on the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.

The members also referred to the deadline of March 12 issued by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for clearing all hurdles for the construction of a temple there.

Taking exception to the forcible entry of VHP activists into the shrine and the resulting breach in security, the members wanted to know how the BJP-led government would ensure security of the place.

Participating in a special discussion on the Ayodhya issue, they condemned the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government for not taking action against VHP leaders who had forcibly entered into the makeshift temple on October 17.

Initiating the debate, P.R. Dasmunsi (Congress) alleged that the Centre showed “inaction and lethargy” on the issue of the forcible entry as the arrest of VHP leader Ashok Singhal even for 24 hours would have led to collapse of the government.

Alleging that the Home Minister L.K. Advani and his Ministry were more to blame for the government’s inaction, he regretted that the offence of the VHP leaders was not even made cognisable.

Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh had stated that the VHP leaders had not entered the temple. “If it was so, then why were some police officials suspended for security lapses”, he asked.

Further, the Prime Minister had admitted that their entry was wrong, he said.

Ms Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress said the issues should be sorted out amicably by the two communities or the Supreme Court ruling should be adhered to. She said secularism was an important bedrock of the nation and it should not be damaged.

Mr Somnath Chatterjee (CPM) said it was clear that the incident of October 17 when the VHP members entered the sanctum sanctorum was a deliberate and calculated move in complicity with the state government as the para-military failed to take any action. Communal passions were sought to be raised when the Uttar Pradesh elections were drawing near. It was also a coincidence that the incident occurred soon after the announcement by the Prime Minister that a cell had been set up to monitor the Ayodhya situation.Back

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