New Delhi: Raking up the Ayodhya controversy during the UP polls campaign, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday justified his decision to order the Uttar Police to open fire on Kar Sevaks during unrest in Ayodhya post demolition of Babri mosque in October 1990.
Addressing an election rally in Lucknow Cantonment area from where her daughter-in-law Aparna Singh, the SP patron said, “I never discriminated among people. I ordered the police to open fire so that the mosque could be saved.”
He said the action had been necessary to uphold the “Muslim community’s faith” and preserve the “unity of the country”.
“Although it was a painful decision (that claimed the lives of 14 Kar Sevaks) but necessary to restore faith of the Muslim community. It was necessary to save the country’s unity and integrity. It is the duty of the government to ensure security of religious places in the state,” he further added.
The firing on the Kar Sevaks took place when the Ram temple movement, spearheaded by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), was at its peak.
On the VHP’s call, a lakh of Kar Sevaks from across the country had assembled in Ayodhya for the construction of a temple at the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri mosque site.
Sixteen persons died in the incident on that day but Singh said “even if 30 had died” he would have issued the same order as there was “no other option available then”.
He also recalled the protests and condemnation he faced in the aftermath.
However, Yadav had earlier expressed regret over ordering the shooting. He had joined hands with the BJP leader in 2009. At that time, he had admitted it was terrible mistake that cost his party dearly.