The special court conducting the case of the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992 by Hindu rioters has ruled that the destruction was not preplanned. The court has hence acquitted all senior members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over a lack of evidence, reported ‘Al-Jazeera.’
The court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has announced its decision pertaining to the 28-year-old-case, and acquitted all 32 accused, including former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna, Krishna is also a mentor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 32 persons had been accused of criminal conspiracy, and inciting a mob to destroy the historic mosque in the Northern town of Ayodha. The city is located 135km from the state capital.
The demolition of the Mughal-era mosque had sparked nationwide mob and communal violence, the victims of which were mostly Muslims. According to official numbers, around 2000 people had died.
“Evidence was not strong enough”
“This is an erroneous judgment as it is against evidence and against law” Zafaryab Jilani, a lawyer for the all India Muslim personal law board.
Read more: India court acquits Hindu extremists who facilitated Babri mosque martyrdom
The court said that there was not enough evidence to directly tie any of the accused to the rioting and murders that had followed, defense lawyer Manish Kumar Tripathi had said.
“The court did not accept the evidence, it was not strong enough,” Tripathi told reporters at the court.
“Give one push and demolish the mosque.”
An Indian journalist Ruchira Gupta that had witnessed the event, and had testified before the government-appointed inquiry commission. The commission had indicted senior leaders of the ruling party the BJP.
“They were deliberately enticing crowds to demolish the mosque and kept raising the slogan to give one push and demolish the mosque. Is that not deliberate? There was no ambiguity in that slogan.” Senior Journalist Ruchira Gupta.
“I was an eyewitness to all that happened. On the day of the demolition, I was on the terrace with BJP and RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] leaders like LK Advani, Uma Bharati, Murli Manohar Joshi, Mohan Bhagwat, among several others,” she had told Al Jazeera.
Read more: Indian school defends re-enactment of Babri Masjid demolition
“They were deliberately enticing crowds to demolish the mosque and kept raising the slogan ‘Give one push and demolish the mosque’. Is that not deliberate? There was no ambiguity in that slogan.
“On the day of the demolition, Advani kept announcing on the microphone that security forces should not be allowed near the mosque. Is that not deliberate intent? Pravin Jain, a photographer, who was there on the day of the demolition said that he saw a dress rehearsal of the demolition of the mosque. I have testified before the Liberhan Commission and surprisingly CBI never asked me to testify which is proof that they had already decided the outcome.”
Sharp reactions to the verdict in the Babri mosque case
Many in India have reacted sharply to the verdict.
Asaduddin Owaisi an Indian politician, and the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, said in a press conference that everyone who still believes in the diversity of India must be heartbroken, by the decision.
“This is a black day for the supreme court of India,” Owaisi
He said that in its previous verdict the supreme court had said that the act was a calculated act of destroying a place of worship. So then how is it that the mosque was destroyed (if the people accused have been acquitted), did someone magically destroy it, he asked?
“I am compelled to say that violence pays for you politically, if you are violent you will win,” he continued.
“Did Uma Bharti not say push one more time and demolish the mosque, did the world not see that when the mosque was being demolished, sweets were being distributed amongst Advani and Joshi? ” he asked. Uma Bharti, LK Advani, and MM Joshi are among the 32 now acquired in the case.
The Babri verdict is shocking, it goes contrary to principles of natural justice & even the SC’s observation
— Ahmed Patel Memorial (@ahmedpatel) September 30, 2020
Some members of the Congress party also condemned the verdict
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala quoted the SC verdict from the 2019 Ayodhya land dispute case and said, “The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the status quo. The destruction of the Babri mosque was an egregious violation of the law.”
“The constitution postulates the equality of all faiths, tolerance and mutual coexistence, nourish the secular commitment of the nation, still the special court found no one guilty?” he questioned.
GVS News Desk