The National Dawn
Lucknow, September 30, 2020
The demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, was not planned and involved “anti-social elements”, a court in Uttar Pradesh said today, acquitting all 32 accused including BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict.
“The accused tried to stop the demolition,” said special CBI judge SK Yadav, adding that the Hindu activists who tore down the 16th-century mosque were “anti-social elements”.
The court acquitted all key accused in the historic case including former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Union minister MM Joshi, former Union minister Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.
Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav has delivered his verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday, 28 years after the 16th century structure was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town.
The key accused include former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Union ministers MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. Most of the senior leaders among the 32 accused such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were not present in the Lucknow court but marked their presence via video conference.
The 32 accused face charges 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 (CBI) produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the CBI court. The court had initially framed charges against 49 accused; 17 accused have died.