Lucknow: A Special CBI court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case of December 6, 1992, acquitted all the 32 accused on Wednesday saying it was spontaneous and not a planned move.
Those acquitted in the case that lasted 28 years include former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, former Union Ministers M.M. Joshi, Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, among others.
Former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar and Hindu leader Sadhvi Rithambhara, who were among the accused present in court, said: “Sab Ramji ki kripa hai”.
As soon as the court announced the acquittal of the accused, jubilation broke out outside the court, in Ayodhya and Lucknow where supporters of the leaders were present to celebrate the occasion.
Special CBI judge S.K. Yadav, in his verdict, said that the demotion was not a planned incident but a spontaneous act.
He said that Ashok Singhal and other Sangh Parivar leaders wanted to save the structure as Ram Lalla statues were inside.
The court observed that leaders who were present on the dais repeatedly tried to persuade the ‘kar sewaks’ against taking any action on that day.
The court further said the CBI has failed to substantiate the charges levelled against the 32 accused persons. The court also said that the video recordings submitted to the court were ‘tampered with’.
The judge pointed out that the prosecution could not produce enough evidence against the accused.
He said that the authenticity of audio, video provided by CBI could not be proven and the audio of the speeches were not clear.
The court also said that those who climbed on the dome, were anti-social elements.
The 26 accused persons who were present in court on Wednesday, said that they had always maintained that the demotion was a conspiracy by the then Congress government.
Babri plaintiff, Iqbal Ansari, said in Ayodhya that after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Ram temple last year, the demolition case had lost its relevance.
“I welcome the acquittal of the 32 persons by the court. There should be no further dispute on the matter,” he said.
Shocking, say Muslim leaders
New Delhi: After the verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case was pronounced acquitting all the 32 accused, Muslim organizations and political leaders called it injustice and shocking.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “The Babri verdict is shocking, it goes contrary to principles of natural justice and even the SC’s observation.”
The AIMIM said it is a sad day for the Indian judiciary. “Today is a sad day in the history of Indian judiciary. Now, the court says there was no conspiracy. Please enlighten me, how many days or months of preparations are required to disqualify an action from being spontaneous?” asked AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.
President of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Syed Arshad Madani said that the Babri Masjid was demolished in broad daylight, the world had also seen under whose patronage the mosque was brought down and who was in power in UP at that time. Despite this, the decision of the CBI Special Court is astonishing.
Maulana Madani added that on November 9, 2019, a five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court, while delivering its judgment on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, had said that the Babri Masjid was not built by demolishing a temple.
Therefore, it was considered a criminal act to place an idol inside the Babri Masjid and then demolish it, and it was also said that the people on whose behalf this act was carried out are also guilty.
“Is it justice or is it the Failure of Justice?” he asked.
The opposition parties including the Congress have asked the government to challenge the verdict.