Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India), Aug.27 : Justifying his firing order to the Uttar Pradesh Police that claimed the lives of 16 kar sevaks in Ayodhya on October 30, 1990, former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday said had even 30 people been killed for the country's unity and integrity, it would not have bothered him.
The firing on the 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.
Speaking at a book launch function held in Lucknow, the SP supremo, while defending his action, said "We had to fire.
When I tried to justify my action, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members called me the murderer of humanity.
If we had not fired at them, imagine what the Muslim population would have thought. Then how would I justify my position as chief minster." He also said that wherever he went after the Ayodhya incident, he was always attacked by stones and some of them even fired at them.
He added that he went to the Lok Sabha to justify his action, but to no avail. The firing had earned the then UP chief minister the nickname of 'Mullah Mulayam'. In January this year, Yadav said the decision to order firing on 'kar sevaks' in Ayodhya was "painful" and added that he had had no other option.
"I would not have re-considered my decision, if more lives would have gone to save the religious place," he said, when he was questioned in the Parliament by the then leader of opposition Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Mulayam added he resigned afterwards owing moral responsibility for that action..