With the senior IPS officer testifying against L K Advani in Babri Masjid demolition case, the senior BJP leader came under fresh attack from political parties and Muslim groups, with the Congress saying he should retire from politics.
BJP, on the other hand, refused to comment on the testimony in which the IPS officer Anju Gupta said Advani was present during the demolition, citing legal process.
"It is for the court to decide whether or not a criminal offence can be made out (against Advani). But I am of the firm opinion that Advaniji should retire from politics after the statement by his ex-personal security officer," said Congress leader Rashid Alvi while commenting on today's development.
"India is a secular country and in Indian politics, there is no room for any such person," he said referring to Advani.
Alvi said a political leader, who had been "instrumental" in demolition of a religious place of a community "through his provocative speeches", was "not fit to be in Indian politics".
Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said "it is in the interest of justice, and especially in the interest of Indian secularism, which needs to be protected by bringing culprits to book."
Citing public perception, he said "Advani, the leadership of RSS and the leadership of Bajrang Dal and all affiliated organisations stand guilty and convicted in the eyes of the public opinion because all that which happened between 1985 to 1992 was played out in full public view."
CPI leader D Raja said the testimony was a "vindication" of what his party had been saying all along about involvement of Advani and other BJP leaders.
Zafaryab Jilani of All India Muslim Personal Law Board said the testimony would vindicate "our stand that Advani was actually fully guilty".
When asked to comment, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "This is the ninth witness and another 40 are ramaining. There is a legal process. Therefore based on the present legal proceedings BJP would not like to comment." PTI