New Delhi: An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid case after a judge ruled that the demolition wasn’t preplanned.
The special court of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Lucknow issued the verdict thirty years after an angry mob razed the mosque.
According to NDTV, the Special judge SK Yadav said that the demolition wasn’t pre-planned, adding that the leaders accused – including BJP founder-members, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti – tried to stop the demolition by “unlawful elements”.
All 26 accused appeared before the special court around 10.30am, whereas, the other six appeared via video link.
As per the details from the Indian media, initially 48 people were framed for the demolition of the Babari Masjid, however, 16 people had died during the trial.
The 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.
On the other hand, The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said that it opposed the judgment, saying that 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 Indian Express.
What is the dispute?
The Ayodhya dispute is about a plot of land measuring 2.77 acres in the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, which houses the Babri mosque and Ram Janmabhoomi.
This particular piece of land is considered sacred among Hindus as it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. Muslims argue that the land houses the Babri mosque, where they had offered prayers for years before the dispute.
The dispute arises over whether the mosque was built on top of the Ram temple.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had said that there should be a partition of the Ayodhya land between the two parties. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had urged the apex court to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court order.