New Delhi: As a political storm engulfed Parliament over "leakage" of the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri mosque demolition, some Muslim clerics and leaders on Monday demanded that the long pending truth behind the "unfortunate" incident should be made public officially and the culprits punished.
Seeking action against those involved in the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid, Maulana Niyaz Ahmed Farooqi of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, one of the leading organisations of Muslim clerics, said there was no reason why the government should not table the probe report.
"Seventeen years of wait, 48 extensions and crores of rupees, for what?" Farooqi asked.
He said it was the job of Justice (retd) MS Liberhan to identify the culprits. "But for us those who are hiding the truth and are reluctant to table the report are equally involved in the unfortunate incident," Farooqi said.
"This is a long struggle of 17 years, a struggle based on principles. We don`t know who the real culprits are and who planned the martyrdom of the Babri Masjid. But irrespective of that, there is no reason why the truth should not be made public officially and the culprits punished," he said.
Politician and former MP Shahid Siddiqui, who is also editor of Urdu daily Nai Duniya, said the leakage of the report was "surprising and aimed to diminish its impact".
"It is extremely unfortunate the report came out this way. The focus now is on the controversy over the leakage. The main focus to expose the truth behind the dastardly incident has shifted," said Siddiqui, who is also national secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The politician-journalist said the report findings were not surprising. "Everybody knows who the culprits are but what remains to be seen is what action the government and the judiciary will take against those who have been indicted," he said.
Former MP and convener of the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee (BMCC) Syed Shahabuddin urged the government to clear its stand on what action would follow the Liberhan report.
"The government should have willingly tabled the report in Parliament as I have been demanding. Since the report has been exposed, I don`t know why and how, the government should now ensure action against those who have been indicted," Shahabuddin said.