30 years after mosque demolition, Babri Masjid Action Committee now a defunct body | Lucknow News

AYODHYA: Three decades after the Babri mosque demolition, the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), which was formed in 1987 at the peak of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, is now a defunct body with a critically ailing Zafaryab Jilani being the sole member of the once-influential Muslim outfit that spearheaded a public campaign and legal battle to protect the Ayodhya mosque.
Jilani’s son Najam Jilani confirmed to TOI that currently the committee did not have any office-bearers or active members. “With abba (father) ill, there’s nobody left to lead or handle day-to-day activities. All have gone,” he said. The committee shot to limelight in the turbulent years leading to the mosque demolition and several members, including former diplomat and politician Syed Shahabuddin, Imam Bukhari, Maulana Ubaidullah Azmi, SP leader Azam Khan and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi projecting themselves as champions of the Muslim cause.
Even after the Babri demolition, BMAC actively participated in organising black days and holding protests for reconstruction of the mosque on December 6, but gradually it lost steam. “BMAC began losing its appeal among Muslims after the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict, which split the disputed land in three parts. BMAC was accused of failing to strongly pursue the case in court and its leaders were forced to issue clarifications to the community. Again, after the special CBI court of Lucknow acquitted all Babri demolition accused, BMAC again drew ire of Muslims,” said Maulana Wasif Hasan, mutawalli of Teeley Wali Masjid, Lucknow.
On February 5, 1986, soon after the unlocking of the Babri mosque, the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee was formed under the leadership of former diplomat and Janata Party leader Syed Shahabuddin. In March next year, an overarching organisation was constituted — Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) — with several Muslim leaders, including the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi joining ranks.
In following months, the movement organised protests in UP and Delhi, demanding status quo at the then disputed site. In March 1987, the BMAC protest at the Boat Club venue drew more than a million participants. These mobilisations prompted consolidation in the Hindu camp with VHP setting up Ramjanmabhoomi Mukti Yagna Samiti with top seers and organised a mahayagna in Ayodhya on October 11, 1988, ahead of a planned march by BMAC to Ayodhya.
BMAC, however, was not a registered body and was mainly run by Zafaryab Jilani and others, while declaring all Muslims as its members. Though defunct today, BMAC then enjoyed political patronage of Janata Dal and Congress leaders.

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