Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinay Katiyar, a firebrand Hindutva activist and one of the 32 accused acquitted in the Babri mosque demolition case, said on Thursday Kashi and Mathura issues should also be settled in favour of Hindus after a Supreme Court verdict has paved the way for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
He, however, made it clear that a final decision on these contentious matters will be taken by saints.
Several Hindutva organisations have long demanded that Hindus should be handed over the religious sites in Kashi and Mathura where mosques stand alongside.
Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries had, however, said after the last year's Ayodhya verdict that the immediate agenda of the organisation do not include issues relating to Mathura, where Lord Krishna is believed to have been born, and Kashi, home to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Katiyar, a former MP of several terms and former UP unit president of the BJP, said that the special CBI court's verdict on Wednesday has taken a huge weight off his shoulder, as people kept saying that he and other BJP leaders were behind the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
He, though, added that had the "structure" not been brought down, then how the temple would be built.
"How the temple would be built if the structure was not brought down. However, it should not have been razed at that time (Dec 6, 1992)... How it was brought down is a different subject but had the structure remained, then the temple would not be built," he said.
Katiyar (65) insisted that his immediate thought, when the demolition took place, was that Ayodhya is "burning", and it should not have happened.
After all, the Supreme Court verdict (in November 2019) made everything clear and paved the way for the Ram temple's construction, he said.
In August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Ram temple. The central government has constituted a trust to oversee the construction of a grand temple at the site where believers hold that Lord Ram was born.
A special court had on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused, including BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, of involvement in the destruction of Babri Masjid 28 years ago, a verdict slammed by the opposition as running counter to the constitutional spirit.
In a 2,300-page judgment, the CBI court said there was no conclusive evidence against the accused of being part of any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya.