Court acquits LK Advani & 31 senior leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case

BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani. File

TWENTY-EIGHT years after the demolition of the disputed structure called Babri Masjid by the Muslim Community at Ayodhya, 32 accused including Lal Krishna Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and several other founding members of the ruling BJP, have been acquitted of charges for destructing it on December 6, 1992. They had launched a nationwide movement backed by RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and other organisations demanding construction of a Grand Ram Temple claiming it was His birthplace. Shiv Sena founder-chief Babasaheb Thackrey had also wholeheartedly supported the Ramjanambhoomi  movement. Special Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who was given extension after retirement for the case, heard the case daily for the last two years. He has ruled that no evidence of preplanning for the destruction of the Babri Masjid was proved. Several accused were found trying to prevent its demolition as per the judgement. The accused were charged under several sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, rioting, promoting enmity between different groups and unlawful assembly. During the trial, the Central Bureau of Investigation produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the CBI court. The court had initially framed charges against 49 accused and 17 accused died during the course of time.  Advani, Dr Joshi  Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh, Nritya Gopal Das and Ashok Pradhan were not present in the Lucknow court due to various reasons and participated in the proceedings through video conferencing.

Sadhvi Ritambara, an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, arrives the special CBI court premises in Lucknow on Wednesday.

The Special CBI Court in Lucknow on Wednesday, September 30 said that it was not a pre-planned incident instead it was spontaneous. Special CBI Judge Yadav said that demolition happened at the spur of the moment. He said that there were not enough evidence to prove the allegations made by CBI in this case. The Special Judge said that the demolition was done by some anti-social elements and there was no alliance between such persons and accused and the accused tried to pacify the mob also. Advani wholeheartedly welcomed the judgement by the Special Court. The judgement vindicates his personal and BJP’s belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, he said. Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh have welcomed the verdict. Singh said the decision has proved that justice can never be denied. DMK Supremo MK Stalin has alleged the CBI has failed to act fairly in the Babri mosque demolition case saying it has become a “caged parrot” of the BJP-led Govt at the Centre. Despite the Supreme Court’s judgment that “the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship,” the CBI failed to prove the conspiracy in the case and it was a blow to the rule of law, he said. Image courtesy to The Hindu.

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