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All accused in Babri Masjid case acquitted by Indian court

All accused in Babri Masjid case acquitted by Indian court

LUCKNOW: An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid case due to a lack of evidence, reported Indian media.

The verdict by a special court of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation in Lucknow comes thirty years after an angry mob of extremist Hindus razed the mosque in the city of Ayodhya.

Among those who were acquitted by the court include veteran leaders of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.

The Babri Majid located in the northern town of Ayodhya was razed in 1992 by hardline Hindus who believe the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The destruction of the mosque triggered religious riots in which about 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed across the country and led to a series of court battles with various groups staking claim to the site.

According to The Indian Express, the court in its verdict said that there was no conclusive proof against the 32 accused in the case.

“They have been acquitted for lack of evidence,” defence lawyer KK Mishra was quoted by the publication.

The publication also reported that 26 out of the 32 accused were present when the court issued the verdict.

NDTV reported that court observed that the demolition of the mosque “was not pre-planned”. It also added that the audio and video submitted to court by the Indian investigation agency CBI could not be determined if it was authentic.

The ruling also stated that “anti-social elements tried to demolish the structure” while, the accused leaders in the case had “tried to stop them”. It also ruled that the “audio of the speech” of the leaders was not clear as well.

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As per The Indian Express, initially, 48 people were framed for the demolition of the Babari Masjid, however, 16 people had died during the trial.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) opposed the judgment, saying the verdict was “wrong”.

“We will appeal against the judgment in the High Court,” Zafaryab Jilani, the lawyer in the case and secretary of the AIMPLB, was quoted by the publication.

One of the accused, former deputy prime minister LK Advani, welcomed the verdict.

“The judgement vindicates my personal and BJP’s belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi movement,” Advani was quoted by Indian news agency ANI.

On the other hand, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh welcomed the verdict.

“It proves that justice triumphed however late it may be,” Singh was quoted by The Times of India.

Indian SC rules in favour of Hindus in Babri Masjid dispute

Last year, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the disputed Babri Masjid land should be given to the Hindus, while ordering the Muslims be allotted an alternate land as a replacement for the destroyed mosque.

The Indian top court issued the order while reading out its verdict on the ownership of a centuries-old religious site claimed by both majority Hindus and Muslims.

The Babri Majid located in the northern town of Ayodhya was razed in 1992 by hardline Hindus who believe the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The destruction of the mosque triggered religious riots in which about 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed across the country and led to a series of court battles with various groups staking claim to the site.

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