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Court acquits all accused in Babri demolition case

Our Bureau/PTI New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2020 Published on September 30, 2020

‘Jai Shri Ram. I welcome the verdict,’ says Advani

A CBI court in Lucknow, on Wednesday, acquitted all accused in the Babri demolition case, including former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

 

Apart from Advani and Joshi, 30 senior BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders such as Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti and Ram Janmabhumi Trust chief Nritya Gopal Das were facing trial in the case. The court said in the 2,000-word verdict that the prosecution could not prove the charges that the demolition was premeditated.

Reacting to the verdict, Advani said: “Jai Shri Ram. I welcome the verdict.”

Welcoming the verdict, Joshi congratulated everyone who brought the facts before the court, which, he said, led to such a verdict. Senior BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj, a key figure during the Ram Janmabhumi agitation, said the verdict is historic.

 

In 2009, the Justice Liberhan Commission had found 68 people, including Advani and Joshi, guilty of demolishing the 16th century mosque. The Supreme Court had also termed the demolition a criminal act in a recent verdict on the land dispute.

In its ruling today, the CBI court said there is no conclusive proof against the accused.

Also read: When politics takes the path of religious revival

Security stepped up

Ahead of the pronouncement of verdict in the case, a multi-layered security apparatus was put in place in the vicinity of the Old High Court building.

 

Wooden barricades were erected near most of the cross sections in the vicinity of the court building, and movement of buses from the Kaisarbagh bus stand diverted.

Vehicular movement on the roads adjoining to the court building was also minimised.

As the accused persons started arriving, cops allowed them entry after verifying their details. Supporters were stopped at the barricades itself.

Mediapersons were not allowed to enter the court building. Most of the shops in the vicinity of the courts remained closed in view of the pronouncement of the verdict.

Lucknow’s Commissioner of Police Sujeet Pandey also took stock of security arrangements.

Also read: Opposition parties welcome construction of Ram Temple

Babir demolition case: A timeline

1528: Babri mosque is built by Mir Baqi in Ayodhya

1542-1605: Ram Chabutara (platform), built by Mughal emperor Mohammad Jallaluddin Akbar, where the idol of Lord Ram remains, is established

1855: A clash between Hindus and Muslims is resolved by the construction of a wall between the mosque and the platform on which the idol is kept. It is decided that Muslims will not do namaz at the time prayers are offered to Lord Ram and vice versa. Hindus are to enter from the east gate and Muslims from the north gate.

1883: Faizabad Deputy Commissioner refuses to allow the construction of a temple around the Ram Chabutara

December 22-23, 1949: Around midnight, idols of Lord Ram are placed inside the mosque. An FIR is lodged under Sections 147, 148 of the IPC pertaining to rioting at the Ayodhya police station.

February 1, 1986: Faizabad District Judge KM Pandey orders the locks of the Babri mosque be opened on an application filed by advocate Umeshchandra Pandey.

June 11, 1989: BJP passes a resolution at its national executive meeting in Palampur to build a grand temple for Lord Ram at the Ramjanmabhoomi site.

November 9, 1989: VHP does shilanyas of the temple in Ayodhya. BJP leaders claim they have received the support of the then Congress governments in UP and the Centre.

September 25, 1990: LK Advani starts his Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya.

December 6, 1992: Babri mosque is demolished and two separate FIRs are lodged. The first (No – 197/92) names unknown Kar Sevaks. The second (No – 198/92) names Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti & Others for provocative speeches, promoting enmity, threatening communal integration.

October 1993: CBI files composite chargesheet which includes Advani & Others as conspirators.

May 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against Advani and others citing no permission taken by the State government from the High Court while transferring the second case (FIR No - 198/92) from Rae Bareilly to the special CBI court.

June 2009: The Liberhan Commission submits its report on the demolition to the Centre. It names 68 people including Advani, Joshi and Kalyan Singh as people culpable for the crime.

April 2017: SC revives criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and clubs their trial with the ongoing trial against Kar Sevaks.

September 30, 2020: Special CBI court acquits all the 32 accused in the case.

 

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Published on September 30, 2020
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