Samajwadi Party supremeo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday defended his decision to order firing on karsevaks in Ayodhya and said to preserve the unity and integrity of the country even the death of 30 persons would not have perturbed him.
Mulayam, who was the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, had ordered firing on karsewaks in Ayodhya in 1990 in which 16 people were killed.
At the peak of Ram janmabhoomi temple movement in 1990, on the VHP's call, a lakh of karsevaks from across the country had assembled in Ayodhya for the construction of a temple at the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri mosque site.
Mulayam said when he tried to justify his action, BJP termed him as the "murderer of humanity" but asked how would he have upheld his position as the chief minister had he not ordered firing on the karsevaks insisting on building a Ram temple at The disputed site.
Speaking at a book release function, he also asked had he not ordered firing "what would have the Muslim population thought".
“I regret giving orders to shoot kar sevaks at Ayodhya. My decision to order firing at kar sevaks was to save Muslim minorities. This decision was needed to keep the faith of Muslims in this country intact,” Mulayam was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Mulayam said wherever he went after the Ayodhya incident, he was always attacked with stones and some even fired at him.
Earlier in January, Mulayam had said that he "felt sad" about having ordered firing on karsewaks in Ayodhya but it was necessary to save the religious place.
"I feel sad for firing on Karsewaks but it was necessary to save the religious place (Babri Mosque)," Mulayam had said at a function in January.