A special CBI court in Lucknow has acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday, stating that the demolition was not a pre-planned act. The Babri Masjid stood at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya.
Among the accused include LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, who, along three others were not present in the court and joined through video conferencing.
Special Judge SK Yadav said that the demolition of the mosque “was not pre-planned”. On the contrary, the accused leaders, including BJP founder-members, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi tried to stop the demolition by “unlawful elements”.
It has been thirty years, since an unruly mob razed the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, in which the senior BJP leaders were named as accused.
The BJP leaders LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi welcomed the verdict. “It is a moment of happiness for all of us, we chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ after the court’s verdict,” said LK Advani speaking to the media.
The court said there was no conclusive evidence against the accused. “They have been acquitted for lack of evidence,” defence lawyer KK Mishra said.
Out of the 32 accused, 26 were present in the special court when the judgment was pronounced. They appeared before the court around 10.30 am, and there was heavy police deployment and barricading.
Among those who attended the court hearing, were Vinay Katiyar, Dharamdas, Vedanti, Lallu Singh, Champat Rai, and Pawan Pandey. While Advani, Joshi, and co-accused Nritya Gopal Das are above 80 years of age Uma Bharti and another accused, Satish Pardhan, are in hospital.
Media people were strictly banned from entering the court premises in the Qaiserbagh area of Lucknow.