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Published On: Wed, Sep 30th, 2020

“No one demolished Babri” ..CBI court acquits all accused

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babri-masjid-696x4672020oooNEW DELHI / LUCKNOW: All 32 accused in Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992 were acquitted today as an Uttar Pradesh court ruled the demolition was not planned and involved “anti-social elements”.
BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were all acquitted of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict today that has evoked strong reactions across the country.

BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were all acquitted of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict today that has evoked strong reactions across the country.

“The accused tried to stop the demolition,” said special judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, adding that merely giving a provocative speech was not enough to prove guilt. “Anti-social elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people,” said the special judge, whose term had been extended for this verdict.The judge also said the audio and video evidence produced by the CBI did not establish conspiracy charges. “The audio of the speeches was also not clear,” he said.CBI Judge
Over the last 28 years, the case has seen many turns. Two cases were filed in 1992, which eventually grew to 49. The second case, FIR no 198, had named Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Uma Bharti for promoting religious enmity and provoking rioting. Later, the Supreme Court asked that criminal conspiracy charges be restored against them.
The Supreme Court also called it “unlawful destruction” and said Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that was constructed well over 400 years ago.
A trending hashtag on Twitter has been “No one demolished Babri” reminiscent of “No one killed Jessica” a Hindi film about the high-profile murder case of model Jessica Lal in 1999 where a court had earlier acquitted her murderer.

Meanwhile, Several politicians, even actors, tweeted about the verdict that came after 28-year wait. Congress leader Ahmed Patel called the verdict “shocking” and tweeted: Calling it a “complete travesty of justice”, Left leader Sitaram Yechury recalled how a Constitution bench headed by the then Chief Justice had called the demolition “an egregious violation of law”.
“A complete travesty of Justice. All charged with criminal conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid acquitted. It self imploded? The Constitution Bench headed by then CJI had said that demolition was an “egregious” violation of law. Now this verdict! Shame,” Mr Yechury tweeted.
Actor Swara Bhasker tweeted in Hindi saying, “The Babri Masjid fell on its own.” AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi called the verdict a “sad day in the history of Indian judiciary”. Iqbal Ansari, the petitioner in the case, said it is “good” that the case is over. “Let’s all live in peace.
Actor Richa Chaddha tweeted in Hindi: “There is a court above this place, where there is light and not darkness.” Various others also tweeted against the verdict. Calling it a “complete travesty of justice”, Left leader Sitaram Yechury recalled how a Constitution bench headed by the then Chief Justice had called the demolition “an egregious violation of law”.

“A complete travesty of Justice. All charged with criminal conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid acquitted. It self imploded? The Constitution Bench headed by then CJI had said that demolition was an “egregious” violation of law. Now this verdict! Shame,” Mr Yechury tweeted.
Over the last 28 years, the case has seen many turns. Two cases were filed in 1992, which eventually grew to 49. The second case, FIR no 198, had named Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Uma Bharti for promoting religious enmity and provoking rioting. Later, the Supreme Court asked that criminal conspiracy charges be restored against them.
The Supreme Court also called it “unlawful destruction” and said Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that was constructed well over 400 years ago.
LK Advani, 92, MM Joshi, 87, and Uma Bharti, 61, were not present in court and watched via video link when the verdict was announced. Mr Advani said he celebrated the “moment of joy” by chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.
“There is no evidence that the accused got together in common cause with anti-social Kar Sewaks to bring down the disputed structure. The leaders seated on stage and those near the Ram Chabutara – VHP leader Ashok Singhal and BJP’s Vijaya Raje Scindia did not suspect that a section of the Kar Sewaks will get agitated and climb the disputed structure,” the judge said.

The mosque demolition was preceded by a series of Rath Yatras by LK Advani, whose campaign for a Ram temple at the site catapulted the BJP to the national spotlight. Mr Advani, Mr Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, who are among the 32 surviving accused, were allegedly present near the mosque. Investigating agencies said they delivered speeches that instigated the crowds who had gathered for a temple.
Kalyan Singh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time.
The 16th century mosque was razed by thousands of “Kar Sevaks” who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. The incident led to riots that left 3,000 dead and changed India’s political landscape forever.
In a historic ruling in November, the Supreme Court handed over the site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for the building of a Ram temple. The groundbreaking ceremony took place earlier this year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing the main rituals.
In an interview to NDTV in 2000, Mr Advani had called the Babri mosque razing a “terrible mistake” and said: “Till today, frankly, I do not know whether it was mob fury, a mob going out of control or a small determined group which did not agree with the leadership of the movement who thought that this should be done, I’m not clear in my mind.”
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said a section of Kar Sevaks went out of control. “What happened in Ayodhya was very unfortunate. It should not have happened. We tried, to prevent it, but we did not succeed. We are sorry for that,” he told in a tv interaction.
“The verdict that said the demolition wasn’t a conspiracy was as expected. We must forget that episode,” he said. “If the Babri Masjid hadn’t been demolished, we wouldn’t have seen any Bhoomipujan for Ram Mandir,” he said.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).Pic: Praveen Jain: The Print.

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