The Indian court acquits all 32 accused in the verdict of the Babri Mosque demolition case on Wednesday.
The verdict was delivered almost 30 years after the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, has acquitted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veterans LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharati.
The special CBI court in Lucknow, during the hearing today, ruled that the demolition was not preplanned.
Wednesday’s verdict acquitted 32 people of the 49 who had been charged, including 17 who had died while the case was underway.
The acquitted includes two former presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) L. K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, who did not appear before the court. The BJP leaders joined through video conferencing.
Besides Advani and Joshi, BJP leader Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, and right-wing leader Sadhvi Rithambarawere among 32 accused.
Reactions to the Babri Mosque Demolition Case Verdict:
Reacting to the verdict, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said it will appeal the verdict in the high court.
“There were police officers, government officials, and senior journalists who appeared as witnesses. What about their testimony? The court should have said whether these eyewitnesses were lying,” the board’s lawyer, Zafaryab Jilani, told the BBC.
Meanwhile, Madhav Godbole who was Narasimha Rao’s home secretary at the time when the Babri Masjid was demolished by a mob of kar sevaks on December 6, 1992, said that he is aghast at Wednesday’s verdict exonerating top right-wing leaders, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, of the crime.
“Quite frankly, I am aghast with this verdict because, firstly, a huge mosque of this size coming down within a period of five hours without any planning or without any preparation on the part of anybody is impossible to believe,” he said, reports HuffPost India.
“Secondly the fact that after 28 years this decision has come, is a commentary on our judicial system, criminal law system”, he added.
The Babri masjid was demolished by ‘kar sevaks’ on December 6, 1992, claiming that the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.