With the Special CBI court acquitting all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, 28 years after the mosque was pulled down by a frenzied mob in Ayodhya, the BJP veterans who are among those given a clean chit have welcomed the verdict, saying it “vindicated” the “BJP’s commitment towards the Ram Janmabhoomi movement” and that it proved “no conspiracy was hatched”.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the judgement by the Special Court in Babri Masjid Demolition Case. The judgement vindicates my personal and BJP’s belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi movement,” former deputy prime minister and BJP’s 92-year-old Margdarshak mandal member Lal Krishna Advani said.
Advani said he is now looking forward to the completion of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. “I also feel blessed that this judgment has come in the footsteps of another landmark verdict of the Supreme Court given in November 2019, which paved the way for my long cherished dream of seeing a grand Shri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, the foundation laying ceremony of which was held on August 5,” Advani said in a written statement.
He thanked his legal team, party workers, leaders, saints and “all those, who through their selfless involvement and sacrifices gave me strength and support during the Ayodhya Movement”.
Nearly thirty years after the Babri Masjid was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh, a special CBI court in Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused, including BJP leaders Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, citing lack of evidence. The court said there was no conclusive proof against the accused. “They have been acquitted for lack of evidence,” defence lawyer KK Mishra said. Twenty-six out of the 32 accused were present in the special court when the judgment was pronounced.
“It’s a historic decision by the court. This proves that no conspiracy was hatched for December 6 incident in Ayodhya. Our program and rallies were not part of any conspiracy. We are happy, everyone should now be excited about Ram Mandir’s construction,” Joshi said.
Lallu Singh, BJP MP from Faizabad, within which Ayodhya falls, and one of the accused, said that the judgment proved that the authorities then had “framed” the BJP leaders in the case. “We were framed by the then authorities, that too three-four days after the incident. The court has said that it was not pre-planned. There were hundreds of volunteers who were angry and raged in Ayodhya that day. They had so much fire in them that they went ahead and pulled down the domes,” Singh told The Indian Express over telephone after the judgment came out.
“The leaders including Ashok Singhalj were trying to stop them. But they had fire inside them. The leaders had no role in it. But the authorities for their political purpose framed charges. The court has given the right verdict which has re-confimred the faith and honour people of India have in judiciary,” Singh said.
Asked about the Liberhan Commission report that held several BJP leaders responsible for the demolition of the 16th century mosque, Singh said: “That report had malafide intentions. It was influenced by the then political leadership.”
There were also several reactions from within the BJP, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who said that the verdict proved that justice prevailed however late it may be. “I welcome the Babri Masjid demolition case verdict by a special court in Lucknow, which has acquitted LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti Kalyan Singh and 32 others. This has proved that justice has prevailed however late it maybe,” Singh tweeted.
लखनऊ की विशेष अदालत द्वारा बाबरी मस्जिद विध्वंस केस में श्री लालकृष्ण आडवाणी, श्री कल्याण सिंह, डा. मुरली मनोहर जोशी, उमाजी समेत ३२ लोगों के किसी भी षड्यंत्र में शामिल न होने के निर्णय का मैं स्वागत करता हूँ। इस निर्णय से यह साबित हुआ है कि देर से ही सही मगर न्याय की जीत हुई है।
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 30, 2020
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said it was a “victory of truth” and alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by then Congress government to defame saints and office bearers of BJP, VHP and other organisations. Adityanath also demanded that those responsible for the controversy should now seek apology from the public of the country.
“Satyamev Jayate, ke anuroop Satya ki jeet hui hai. Those responsible for this controversy should apologise before the public of this country,” said Adityanath in the statement.
CBI की विशेष अदालत के निर्णय का स्वागत है।
तत्कालीन कांग्रेस सरकार द्वारा राजनीतिक पूर्वाग्रह से ग्रसित हो पूज्य संतों,@BJP4India नेताओं,विहिप पदाधिकारियों,समाजसेवियों को झूठे मुकदमों में फँसाकर बदनाम किया गया।
इस षड्यंत्र के लिए इन्हें जनता से माफी मांगनी चाहिए।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) September 30, 2020
However, the Congress Wednesday said the verdict runs counter to the 2019 Supreme Court Judgement as also the Constitutional spirit and asked the Central and Uttar Pradesh Governments to file an appeal, against the decision of the Special Court.
“The decision of the special court to acquit all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to Supreme Court Judgement as also the Constitutional spirit. The Supreme Court in its Judgement dated November 9, 2019, pronounced by five-judges clearly held that the demolition of Babri Masjid as clear illegality and “an egregious violation of the rule of law”. But the Special Court exonerated all the Accused. It is clear that the decision of the Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court of India,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.
Meanwhile, AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani said that the judgment pronounced by the special CBI court in the Babri Demolition case was wrong. “We will appeal against the judgment in the High Court,” said the lawyer who was also part of the Babri Action Committee.
Prominent Sunni cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said everyone knows how the “Babri masjid was demolished in full public view” and the “law of the land was shredded to pieces”.
“The Muslims if this country have always respected court decisions. In the final judgment of the Babri masjid case, the court had clearly said Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that had been constructed well over 450 years ago. Then the Supreme Court also said that it was an unlawful destruction. However, if there was a criminal conspiracy, it had to be decided by the court. Now, Muslim organisations will sit together and decide whether it (today’s judgment) has to be appealed or not,” he said.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut congratulated Advani and others on behalf of his party and said, “I and my party Shiv Sena, welcome the judgment and congratulate Advani ji, Murli Manohar ji, Uma Bharti ji and the people who have been acquitted in the case. Verdict saying demolition wasn’t a conspiracy and a result of circumstances, was the expected judgment. We must forget that episode. If the Babri Masjid wasn’t demolished we wouldn’t have seen any Bhoomi Pujan for Ram Mandir.”
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, on the other hand, called it a sad day for democracy. “Today is a sad day in the history of Indian judiciary. Now, the court says there was no conspiracy. Please enlighten me, how many days of months of preparations are required to disqualify an action from being spontaneous?” he asked.
“Decision by CBI court is a black day for Indian judiciary because the SC already said in civil property dispute of the site as ‘an egregious violation of rule of law’ & ‘calculated act of destroying a public place of worship,” he added.
Owaisi further said, “This is an issue of justice. This is an issue of ensuring that people who are responsible for the Babri Masjid demolition should’ve been convicted. But they’ve been politically rewarded in the past by becoming HM and HRD minister. BJP is in power because of this issue.”
With inputs from Express Web Desk
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