A special court in Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused including veteran BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti. The incident had happened "suddenly and spontaneously", the court observed. It also said that the incident was not a pre-planned conspiracy and that there was no solid proof against the 32 accused. The court further remarked that Joshi and Advani had tried to stop the crowd.
The case relates to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. The 32 accused persons also included former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, during whose tenure the structure was pulled down, besides Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambara. Champat Rai, the general secretary of the trust in charge of constructing the temple, was also among the accused.
The CBI, which went into the case, produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 16 had died during the course of the trial. Over two dozen of 32 accused were present. Advani (92), Joshi (86), Bharti (61), Singh (88), Nritya Gopal Das and Satish Pradhan were not present in court.
Sadhvi Rithambara: We had got relief way back in 2019 when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ram Janmabhoomi.
LK Advani: I wholeheartedly welcome the judgement by the Special Court. The judgement vindicates my personal and BJP's belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Alongwith millions of my countrymen
Murli Manohar Joshi: 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. Jai Shri Ram, Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan.
Rajnath Singh: I welcome the verdict by Special CBI Court, Lucknow acquitting all 32 accused. It proves that justice triumphed however late it may be.
Yogi Adityanath: It proves that the then Congress govt had framed saints, BJP leaders, VHP officials in false cases with intention to defame them, for vote bank politics. Those responsible for this conspiracy should apologise to the nation.
Sushil Kumar Modi: I was witness to the entire incident of 6th December. It was all spontaneous, no conspiracy. I was conducting the meeting from the dais, I was surprised when some Kar Sewaks climbed Babri structure. Advaniji was unhappy.
Sanjay Raut: Verdict saying demolition wasn't a conspiracy & 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 Bhumi Pujan for Ram Mandir.
Asaduddin Owaisi: 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?: Asaduddin Owaisi, on the #BabriMasjidDemolitionVerdict
In a significant judgement last year, the Supreme Court allotted the dispute site in Ayodhya for construction of a Ram temple, while calling the demolition of the mosque a violation of the rule of law. An alternative five-acre site was marked in the city for building a mosque.
Before the 2017 verdict of the apex court, two sets of cases were being heard in Lucknow and Raebareli. The trial of the first case involving unnamed 'kar sevaks' was going on in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relating to the eight VVIPs, including Advani, Joshi, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Ashok Singhal, Katiyar, Uma Bharti, Giriraj Kishore and Sadhvi Ritambhara, were going on in a Raebareli court. The apex court, had while restoring the charge of criminal conspiracy, directed clubbing of two cases relating to the demolition and had also ordered that the trial be concluded in two years.