Babri Masjid case: All accused including LK Advani acquitted

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani addresses his supporters during an election campaign in Ahmedabad, April 20, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani addresses his supporters during an election campaign in Ahmedabad, April 20, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Lucknow, September 30 (IANS): 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 acquittal of the 32 persons by the court. There should be no further dispute on the matter," he said.