Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI Special Court acquits all accused, judge says ‘demolition was not pre-planned’

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  • CBI’s Special Court in Lucknow has acquitted all 32 accused of conspiring to demolish the Babri Masjid.
  • The key accused in this historic case include LK Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi and Kalyan Singh, among others.
  • This is special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav’s final verdict before his retirement today.
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Nearly three decades after the Babri Masjid was demolished, Lucknow’s special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has announced its verdict today acquitted all of 32 accused.

In his last verdict before retirement, judge Surendra Kumar Yadav said, “The demolition was not pre-planned.”

According to him, the people named in the chargesheet weren’t trying to incite the mob but to stop them. “Court found that the video was fabricated. Investigative team did not produce negatives of the picture,” said advocate KK Misra after the verdict was announced.

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Yadav also highlighted that a local intelligence report had cautioned that such an event might take place on December 6 but it went unheeded by those concerned.

Only 26 of the 32 accused were in court today. Some were excused due to age and others due to COVID-19 restrictions like Uma Bharti, who had recently tested positive for the disease. Overall 49 people were named as the accused in the FIR lodged by the CBI. However, 17 individuals died during the course of the 28-year-long trial.

What is the Babri Masjid demolition case?
The mosque was demolished on 6 December 1992 by a mob that believed that it had been built on top of Hindu deity Lord Ram’s birth place.

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However, the demolition was only the first of the dominoes to fall. Religiously motivated riots followed and led to death of around 2,000 people.

Main crux of the matter, the demolition itself, was settled by the Supreme Court in 2019. It ruled in favour of erecting the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple at the location and allocating a different site for the mosque to be rebuilt.

What was still hanging in the balance were the two FIRs filed by the police in 1992. Additionally, forty-seven more FIRs were filed for attacks on journalists on the day of the demolition.

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Of the two FIRs filed by the police, one was against lakhs of volunteers who were seen climbing the mosques with hammers and axes in hand. And the second one was against eight people — Advani, Joshi, Bharti, BJP’s Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Rithambhara.

Dalmia, Kishore and Singhal have since passed away.

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